site of Givat Assaf terror attack
site of Givat Assaf terror attackDavid Michael Cohen/TPS

Moti Mor Yosef The father of St.-Sgt. Yuval Mor Yosef, who was murdered in the attack at the Givat Assaf Junction last month, slammed the decision to indict five members of the Netzach Yehudah Battalion where his son served. The soldiers are accused of beating prisoners who had collaborated in the murder of their colleagues.

The bereaved father told Arutz Sheva that it was a mistake to send the comrades of those who were murdered to capture the collaborators. "In my opinion it is very serious matter to arrest the guys who served with Yuval for a year and a half since basic training. To send them near the attack where their comrades were caught with such psychological tension. What did you expect from those soldiers who captured the collaborators - that they would make them coffee and hug them?"

"They were with my son for a year and a half. They were emotionally and mentally hurt from the incident. They needed to send another company. The fact is that the battalion is still in the same area, but the company was transferred to another location. A fundamental mistake was made here.

Mor Yosef called the arrests of the soldiers a repeat of the Azariya Affair. "Were it not for the collaborators, the terrorist would not have been a murderer. He would not have had a weapon or a vehicle with an Israeli license plate without these helpers. I think they should have received a severe punishment. Where else would there be a civilized country where soldiers give all their best efforts and years to combat units and end up being arrested because they beat the collaborators? The Azariya trial is repeating itself."

He also attacked those who spoke out against the soldiers' role in the attack. "This is a shame and disgrace for those who talk about them. They are first-class soldiers and we heard this [description] from their commanding officer and the division commander. There are people - I do not know if it's worth mentioning their names - that talk like that because they're haredim, they are [considered] second class."

"This is an indictment that should not have been submitted in the first place," said the defense attorney who represents the soldiers. "We are confident that at the end of the trial the facts and circumstances will be clarified and that things will look different. These are outstanding soldiers, the salt of the earth, whose comrades were murdered only a month ago by a terrorist and who were put in an impossible situation - they led [the operation to] arrest the terrorists involved in the murder of their comrades."

"Unfortunately, the indictment presented reflects a lack of understanding on the part of the IDF regarding the impossible situation with which the soldiers were presented, and the gap in the response that the soldiers were supposed to receive after the incident, both from the standpoint of the commanders and from the aspects of the mental health system, will also be examined," the attorney added.