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(photo credit: AP [file])
The Southern Command Military Court on Tuesday sentenced an IDF soldier to 7.5 months in prison for looting during Operation Cast Lead. The soldier was found guilty of stealing a credit card from a Gaza home and using it to withdraw NIS 1,600 from ATMs in Israel.
The court called the theft "a serious incident which requires a deterring punishment." The soldier's attorney said the sentencing was harsh and that he would consider his next legal move after reviewing the verdict.
The investigation was launched after Ahmed Rafia, a resident of Gaza City, filed a complaint with the IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) regarding the theft.
Rafia, whose account is at Bank of Palestine, told CLA officers that his card was stolen and that NIS 1,600 was withdrawn from ATMs following the conclusion of the operation in January.
About two months ago, the soldier, who serves in the Givati Brigade's elite Reconnaissance Unit, sent a letter of apology to Rafia together with NIS 1,620, equivalent to the sum he had stolen plus the interest.
Military Police are conducting several more investigations into allegations of looting and stealing during the operation in the Gaza Strip.
Some of the investigations were launched following internal IDF inquiries and others are based on complaints filed at the CLA.
Yaakov Katz contributed to the report