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The parents of a soldier who was killed during the second Lebanon war have decided to protest a decision by the IDF to award a citation of valor to a military doctor who they say abandoned their son on the battlefield.
Sgt. Kobi Smilg, from Battalion 52 of Armored Brigade 401, was killed on July 24 when a Hizbullah bomb detonated and caused his tank to flip over near the southern Lebanese village of Maroun al-Ras. According to Kobi's father, Eliezer, his son was "abandoned in the field" and "left to bleed to death" for two hours before a medical team was sent to evacuate him.
Smilg decided to speak to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday after the IDF announced last week that it would award Dr. Marina Kaminsky - Battalion 52's doctor - a citation of valor for her service during the war. The Russian-born Kaminsky is credited with evacuating and treating dozens of soldiers from Lebanon while under fire.
"Dr. Kaminsky abandoned my son on the battlefield," Smilg said. "The decision to grant her an award, even if she did positive things before the incident involving Kobi, is insulting and wrong."
According to Smilg, Kobi bled to death two hours after his tank flipped over. He said Kaminsky was stationed at a house 150 meters away but did not try to reach his wounded son.
"Had he received immediate medical care, he might have survived," Smilg said.
Smilg also accused Maj. Eli Michaelson, the deputy battalion commander, of playing a part in his son's death by not ordering Kaminsky to move the 150 meters to treat Kobi.
"Michaelson failed on both a professional and an ethical level," Smilg said.
Smilg decided to take his protest to the streets, and on Sunday he stood in front of the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv waving signs protesting the decision to honor Kaminsky.
The IDF Spokesman's Office said in a statement that a final decision had yet to be made on whether to award the citation.
"The Central Command's recommendation to grant Dr. Marina Kaminsky a citation of valor was discussed today at the General Staff committee on awards and has yet to receive final approval," the statement read. "Concerning the complaint, it was brought to the inquiry committee headed by the commander of Division 162."