Smotrich: Law Needed to Provide Immunity for Soldiers

Jewish Home MK Betzalel Smotrich. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

When his party gets into the Knesset, it will promote a law that will provide immunity to IDF soldiers who kill or harm terrorists in the course of their duty, Jewish Home head MK Betzalel Smotrich said Thursday. Smotrich was responding to the indictment of five soldiers of the Netzach Yehudah unit who are accused of beating terrorist suspects who were bound and blindfolded.

The indictments brought by IDF prosecutors accuse the soldiers of torturing prisoners. According to the indictment, they slapped the bound prisoners across the face, punched them, and beat them with blunt objects. The soldiers allegedly caused the prisoners to sustain serious injuries. Two of the soldiers are also accused of evidence-tampering in the case. Prosecutors have asked the military court to extend the remand of all the suspects until the end of proceedings against them.

“The military prosecution has lost its mind and is now harming the IDF,” Smotrich told Channel 20. “Demanding prison terms for soldiers who saw their fellow soldiers killed by terrorists and then arrested terrorists who helped murder them is an injustice we cannot accept. Our brave soldiers are worth defending, even if they made a mistake. The worst they should be subject to is a disciplinary proceeding, not criminal charges. In the next Knesset my party will introduce legislation to ensure that soldiers are protected legally in these absurd situations.”

MK Oren Hazan (Likud) also slammed the prosecution. “Before our eyes we see how the efforts to find favor among the nations is destroying our country. These indictments are yet another mark of shame to the military commanders who do not know how to support their soldiers, whom they send out to battle.” Hazan called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in his role as defense minister, to do something to prevent the prosecution from continuing. “As you can see, it is not just civilians such as yourself who are subject to false charges, but soldiers as well. Do not let this happen under your leadership.”