Police Refuse Gun for Soldier over Disengagement

Ben-Gvir slams 'political harassment'; elite solder allowed to defend state, can't have handgun for defense over opposition to expulsion.

Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar ,

Jews expelled in Disengagement (illustration)
Jews expelled in Disengagement (illustration)
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

Israeli police are preventing a soldier currently in a course to become a captain, who serves in an elite unit and fought to defend Israel in Gaza, from receiving permission to have a private handgun - for a very politicized reason.

The soldier lives in Kfar Tapuah, located near Ariel in northern Samaria, and due to the dangers inherent to living in the area he requested permission to bear a personal gun for self-defense in addition to his IDF weapon.

However, police have rejected the request, claiming that the soldier has police files from the period of the 2005 Disengagement plan from Gush Katif and northern Samaria, in which Jews were forcibly expelled from their homes by the government in a move that paved the way for Hamas to take power in Gaza.

The soldier turned to Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir who submitted a petition to the Tel Aviv District court.

In the petition, Ben-Gvir noted the soldier is "a fighter in the Rimon commando unit who guards and protects the land of Israel and the people of Israel, and who two months ago fought in Gaza in the the war of the state of Israel and acted for the Israel Defense Forces."

"Especially in these unstable days there is no need to explain the importance of giving weapons permits to citizens who live in settlements, all the more so for a soldier living in a settlement like this," added Ben-Gvir.

Slamming the police decision, the attorney wrote "there's no limit to the absurd - the same petitioner who the state of Israel relies on, sends him to be a captain in a special unit in the IDF, and allows him to carry a weapon and other arms, this same petitioner that the state of Israel relies on him to fight for it, he is the same petitioner forced to submit this petition."

According to Ben-Gvir "it is unthinkable that the petitioner is 'fit' to carry a weapon in the framework of his military position, but for his personal defense he is 'unfit.'"

Speaking about the injustice of using the Disengagement protests as a reason to block the soldier, Ben-Gvir noted "the petitioner feels that due to his political opinions he is being harassed since a long time has passed. The incidents occurred when he was still a minor...the presumption of innocence is in his favor, since no legal proceeding was taken against him and all investigative files have been closed."

Ben-Gvir spoke about the case and criticized the police on Friday, saying "this is a festival of the absurd and it isn't clear who is the source behind this wretched decision."

"If the soldier is good enough to endanger his life in Gaza and can be relied on, and he has access to much more significant military equipment than a private gun, there's no reason in the world he shouldn't have a private gun for defense when he returns (to the base) from his home," argued Ben-Gvir.

The attorney added "the soldier currently is in a captain course and intends to rise in the IDF ranks, but what is more important to him than anything is to fight for his people and homeland, and instead of welcoming soldiers like this, it appears there are those who do everything they can to harm soldiers."