Ben-Gvir slams 10-day prison term for soldier who argued with left-wing provocateurs

“IDF soldiers are our defenders, and we will protect them. It’s time!” says MK Itamar Ben-Gvir.

By World Israel News Staff

Otzma Yehudit MK Itamar Ben-Gvir and his party mate MK Almog Cohen expressed their disapproval of a 10-day prison term leveled against a soldier who was filmed in a verbal disagreement with left-wing activists, calling the punishment excessive.

Last week, a combat soldier from the elite Givati Brigade told left-wing activists that “the fun is over” and that they would no longer be able to continue creating provocations in Hebron because of the incoming right-wing government.

“That’s it. You guys lost,” he continued, before adding that Ben-Gvir, who will likely serve as national security minister in the new government, would “make order here.”

The soldier, whose name has not been released for publication, was filmed by left-wing activists in a short clip that quickly went viral on social media.

The activists had been repeatedly asked by the soldiers to clear the area as they were disputing operational activity and refused, with one asking the soldier if he was doing anything illegal.

“Everything you do is illegal. I am the law,” the soldier is heard saying.

IDF brass immediately issued a statement condemning the soldier’s behavior, despite the fact that there was an ongoing investigation into the incident.

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On Monday evening, IDF officials announced that the soldier was sentenced to 10 days in military prison for his part in the verbal confrontation.

“Sending a soldier to prison for 10 days just because he said ‘Ben-Gvir will make order here’ is crossing a red line and conveying a message of harm to IDF soldiers,” Ben-Gvir wrote in a statement on Twitter in response to the verdict.

“We must not let the anarchists slander us forever, we must support the fighters and not weaken them. IDF soldiers are our defenders and we will protect them. It’s time!”

In a statement on his Twitter account, Cohen said the sentence was “disproportionate” and urged IDF senior officials to support soldiers on the ground.

While he acknowledged that the soldier should not have voiced a political opinion by mentioning Ben-Gvir, he said that the jail term was too harsh.

“It’s easy to judge while sitting under fluorescent lights in an air conditioned [room,]” he wrote. “A chief of staff who doesn’t back the soldiers is certainly making a mistake.”