Israeli soldiers demand safety following death of soldier shot in head along Gaza border

The soldiers have been posting messages to Instagram, claiming that the IDF senior command is preventing soldiers from defending themselves.

By Donna Rachel Edmunds, World Israel News

Hundreds of IDF soldiers have taken part in an online protest following the death of Staff Sgt. Barel Hadarya Shmueli, a Border Police officer who was shot at close range during a riot on the Gaza border earlier this month.

The soldiers have been posting messages to Instagram, claiming that the IDF senior command is preventing soldiers from defending themselves.

According to Israel’s Kan News, the protest was sparked by claims that IDF soldiers policing the riot in which Shmueli was shot asked for permission to fire and were refused. A military investigation into the incident last week found the claim incorrect, but claims that IDF soldiers are put at risk unnecessarily by officers refusing them permission to defend themselves are not new.

Shmueli, 21, a member of the Border Police’s Southern District Unit was shot in the head as his position came under attack by hundreds of violent rioters on August 21. Over the following days he underwent a number of surgeries as he fought for his life, but ultimately passed away from his wounds on Monday.

He was buried at the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv on Monday night. Ministers and senior officers from the IDF and police attended his funeral.

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The Shmueli family has demanded an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his death, accusing the IDF of tying the troops’ hands and creating an unnecessary dangerous environment for the soldiers when facing the Hamas-led riots.

Nitza, Barel’s mother, had extremely harsh words for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, calling on him to resign.

“I will fight your war and I will have revenge. The state, the IDF and the Border Police sent you to be a cardboard against Hamas terrorists,” she said.

“Bennett, be a hero, give up your place and fast. You are sitting with the chair of Hamas in the Israeli government [the Islamist Ra’am party]. My son was a sniper and you sent him with zero chance to shoot the terrorists,” she added.

Barel’s father Yossi addressed his son’s death and the people of Israel, saying: “I promised you from your bed, when you took your last breath, that I would be strong for you. I love you. Thank you to the people of Israel for the prayers. My son is in heaven.”