Soldiers taking part in an IDF drill simulating war with Hamas.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
An irresponsible prank of an IDF soldier almost ended in disaster.
In the course of operational activity at a base in Judea and Samaria in November, a number of IDF soldiers conducted a game of "water fight," but one of the soldiers, D., took the game a step too far: he threw a stun grenade into a room with several soldiers, the grenade exploded, and one of the soldier's hearing was damaged.
The soldier was arrested by the Military Police Investigation Unit and charged with a very serious offense of sabotage with aggravated intent, to which the maximum sentence is 20 years imprisonment.
A criminal mediation process has recently been conducted, followed by a lenient plea bargain. As part of the mediation, the soldier was convicted of lesser offenses: illegal use of a weapon and attempted assault that caused injury. He was sentenced to 60 days in prison, a month of military service and a demotion. The lenient conviction means that the soldier will not be accompanied by a criminal record.
During the mediation process conducted at the military court, D.'s counsel, Captain Itai Hammer of the Military Advocate General, raised arguments in favor of the soldier. According to him, the involvement of the soldier's commanders in investigating and interrogating those involved in the field even before the Military Police investigation, disrupted the investigation and caused a real damage to the weight of the evidence against the soldier. The defense claimed that despite the gravity of D's act, his actions were innocent and he did not act with the intention of harming anyone.
After accepting the plea bargain, Captain Hammer said: "This is an Orthodox soldier who made tremendous efforts to enlist in the IDF, despite the pressures from his surroundings not to enlist. The incident in question was merely a joke, without any criminal intent. From the very first moment the soldier realized his mistake and expressed remorse. We are happy that in the end the prosecution understood that this was an act that stemmed from a spirit of folly, and that the soldier would not be tainted by a criminal record that could harm his future."
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