The soldier from the Tzabar Battalion of the Givati Brigade who was recorded taunting left-wing activists in Hebron and sentenced to 10 days of imprisonment, wrote a letter to the commander of the brigade and the general of the Central Command this afternoon (Tuesday) requesting that his sentence be lightened.
The soldier, who was sent to a military prison for 10 days after telling the left-wing activists, "Ben-Gvir will make order here," described the incident in his letter from his point of view: "Last Thursday, I was on duty when protesters arrived at the scene and started cursing me and the other soldiers. We did everything to explain to them in the best possible way that they we should be allowed to fulfill our role and that they should leave the place. Instead they shouted at us and cursed us and began to surround us. One of them shouted at me the whole time that I was 'following Ben-Gvir's orders and that I was Ben-Gvir's soldier.'
'I didn't want to say anything political and I didn't want to behave in a way that is not suitable for a soldier. I answered him in the same language he used. He said I was a soldier of Ben-Gvir, so I told him that if I was his soldier then he would make order here. I also explained to the Major General that I in no way intended to say anything political about Ben-Gvir or state a political position," the soldier wrote.
In a letter, the soldier expressed regret for his actions and asked for a lighter sentence: "I said a few words without any intention of embarrassing the IDF or committing a crime and I find myself going to prison. I realize I spoke in a way I shouldn't have, even if I did it unintentionally. I was very stressed at the time and I only ask for consideration of the pressure and everything that was there in an event that lasted quite a while.'
''I ask for forgiveness. I realized my mistake. I will not say such things again under any circumstances. My dream was to be a combat soldier. I believe in what I do and I want to continue being a combat soldier. I have a lot of motivation. That's why I'm turning to you, commander, and asking to acquit me, or at least lighten the sentence," the soldier wrote.
The Minister-designate of National Security, Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, arrived this morning (Tuesday) to support the family of the soldier from the Givati Brigade and met with Eli Levy, the soldier's father.
The soldier's father said: "I sent my son to fight, to be a soldier, for the people of Israel. We saw for a whole year, day and night, the boy gave himself up for this role. To our great regret, his anarchist brothers came and cursed him, humiliated him, spat on him, and he was led to make political statements.'
'It may be that he really shouldn't have said 'Ben-Gvir will make order', but should such a thing warrant being sent for ten days in prison? I expect his commanders, everyone above him, to back him, give him backup, strengthen him and be in his favor, in order to lift his spirits and continue in the important role he has."
Ben-Gvir said: "I am here with the father of an IDF soldier who was sent to ten days of in prison after he told those anarchists 'Ben-Gvir will make order here.' I demand that the Chief of Staff and the entire command think twice about this punishment.'
"It can't be that anarchists come, curse, spit, attack our heroic soldiers. You can certainly take them to the side and tell them 'use a more proportionate response next time', but to send them to prison for ten days? It's not reasonable, it's disproportionate, it's not right, it's not appropriate.'
"Our job is to back our soldiers, and I demand from the army, think twice about this punishment. It's a very bad message," added minister-designate Ben-Gvir.
MK Moshe Arbel (Shas) did not like Ben-Gvir's response, and said: "MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, my friend, I urge you to leave the IDF out of the political discourse. It must not be allowed in any way for an IDF soldier in uniform speak out in favor of any party in this manner. Our beloved IDF soldiers and fighters who are guarding our country must be at least one floor above all political business."