Protest outside the prison
Protest outside the prison Credit: Arutz Sheva

A demonstration took place on Sunday opposite the walls of Prison 4 at the Tzrifin base, where the Nahal Haredi soldiers who were arrested following a scuffle with Bedouin youth are being held.

Two weeks ago, 18 IDF soldiers from the Nahal Haredi unit were arrested following an altercation with a group of Bedouin youth. The soldiers, who were on their way back to their base from attending a funeral, stopped at a gas station, where a group of Bedouin youth allegedly harangued them and threatened to stab them.

According to the battalion commander's lawyer, one of the Bedouin youth screamed at him: "Come soldier, I'm going to stab you." The commander, fearing the threat was real, tried to physically restrain the Bedouin, and was then attacked by all the Bedouin youth. The other IDF soldiers joined the scuffle to protect their commander.

The IDF soldiers overpowered the youth and ascertained that the youth that screamed out did not have a knife in his possession. The soldiers then returned to their base and were shocked when their officers told them that the media will blow the story out of proportion which will harm their unit. The soldiers were even more shocked when they were arrested and detained.

Right-wing activist Ran Carmi Buzaglo organized the protest and called on the public to join to support the soldiers and their families and demand their immediate release. Buzaglo warned of the army's be‎havior in previous cases where soldiers were prosecuted.

"Again, we see handcuffed soldiers as the latest criminals," said Carmi-Buzaglo. "It seems that the lesson from the Elor Azaria affair has not been fully internalized. The army must take responsibility for the soldiers and the only thing that is required is an internal unit investigation in order to prevent future incidents."

Carmi-Buzaglo claims that the Chief Military Advocate has "an uncontrollable drive to send soldiers to prison" and that it has been proven that public protest can affect the Advocate. "That's what happened when a Kfir fighter was released after a few months," Carmi-Buzaglo said. "And that's what happened in the incident when Nahal Haredi soldiers were accused of beating terrorists who murdered their comrades Yuval Mor Yosef and Yosef Cohen."

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