IDF soldier Gilad Ettiya has been sentenced to 30 days in military prison after being declared absent without leave.
Ettiya is a resident of the outpost of Maoz Esther which was recently demolished, along with the outpost of A'ira Shachar. He received the news that the houses and synagogue of his home-town had been destroyed while serving on an army base in the south of the country, and told his commanding officer that he needed a few days of absence in order to reestablish his home.
Ettiya, who was married not long ago, had learned from his wife that their home in which they had lived since their marriage had been destroyed, after soldiers forced her out of the house and threw out their belongings. She had been alone at home at the time.
When he told his commanding officer, however, his request was met with a lack of understanding. He left, nonetheless, and when he returned to base he was court-martialed and sentenced to 30 days in prison.
"I joined the army in order to protect my people, to serve the people and protect the country, and in return they spat in my face," Ettiya said of the punishment imposed on him. "As if it wasn't enough that the state has completely destroyed our home in a violent and brutal campaign of destruction, now it is also punishing me for having to rebuild our home from the rubble.
"Previous governments established dozens of new settlements within the framework of the Nahal Brigade," he added, "but now, unfortunately, the government is working in exactly the opposite direction and choosing to fight those who insist on preserving the Zionist vision."