The Israeli military has removed from active duty a reserve soldier who was recorded on video striking a left-wing activist in the southern West Bank, a report said Thursday.
St. Sgt. Alon Segev was filmed last Saturday hitting a member of the Ta’ayush Jewish-Arab rights group in the Hebron Hills area, near the Pnei Hever settlement.
The activists were escorting Palestinian residents on their way to their orchards to plow their crops, the Haaretz daily reported.
He can be heard telling the activist: “There are events by ‘anarchists against fences,’ there is the ‘ugly parade’ and the ‘traitor parade’ — which one are you?”
The incident was captured both by the activist who was struck, and by a second activist nearby.
After Segev was discharged, he posted an angry video statement, still wearing his army uniform.
“Until two days ago I was a proud reserve soldier who came to guard our beautiful country,” he said. “On Saturday morning we were sent to deal with a fence incident by some organization against fences, I don’t know what they’re called.
“I was purportedly filmed beating up one of the leftist activists who was with a camera. An hour hadn’t passed and that thing was published. Our new battalion commander saw the video, called me in and told me there was nothing to argue about. All my explanations, that I had just grabbed his camera [and not struck his body], didn’t help.”
The activist’s footage of the moments leading up to the incident and the incident itself appear to show clearly that Segev pursued the activist and struck him.
“The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit published that I ‘erred and used force’ — but didn’t describe what I said during the investigation, that the left-winger had poked the camera in my face and hit my eye.
“After another investigation I was called in by my company commander, who said he had received an order from the battalion commander to send me home.
“I am pained and anguished that after 25 years of reserve service I am forced to leave in such a way.”
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit responded, according to Haaretz, by saying: “The IDF cherishes the reserve combatants and volunteers. The investigation into the incident showed the combatant had acted inappropriately, both in the way he expressed himself verbally and by harming a civilian. The conclusions of the inquiry have been explained and clarified to the soldiers in the field.”