IDF soldier breaks silence on harassment by Givati commander
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IDF soldier breaks silence on harassment by Givati commander

May Fatal slams plea bargain for Liran Hajbi, but attorney says she agreed to it

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

IDF soldier May Fatal breaks her silence on April 27, 2015, on sexual harassment allegations against Givati commander Liran Hajbi (photo credit: Facebook)
IDF soldier May Fatal breaks her silence on April 27, 2015, on sexual harassment allegations against Givati commander Liran Hajbi (photo credit: Facebook)

An IDF soldier who filed a complaint against a Givati Brigade commander for sexual harassment and indecent acts, for which he was subsequently removed from the army, broke her silence and identified herself on Monday on Facebook for the first time.

May Fatal slammed the military courts for offering Lt. Col. Liran Hajbi, the commander of the Tsabar Battalion in the brigade, what she said was a softened indictment and plea bargain. Fatal had accused Hajbi of harassing her while she was stationed under his command, and said Monday that her attorneys would appeal his indictment.

In response, Hajbi’s attorney said Fatal had approved the arrangement, and had revised her version of the story.

“I decided that I have no choice but to share my personal story, since after all that I went through, I am now forced to deal with a demeaning indictment and a plea bargain no less humiliating than the incident itself,” she wrote in a post.

Under the “harmful, delusional” plea bargain, Hajbi would resign from his position but would not be prosecuted “for the serious sex crimes he committed against me, against my will, while he took advantage of his position as my superior officer,” she wrote.

“I never thought I would be in a situation where I felt hopeless, stuck, silenced, this time in the face of a sealed system, and I never believed for a moment that I would understand those who don’t complain because they know in advance just how ‘severe’ the punishment of the sexual harassers is in Israel,” she continued.

Fatal denied any romantic entanglement with Hajbi, saying that she had rejected his advances repeatedly and explicitly.

Hajbi’s military attorney said in response: “The complainant chose to present a very different story than the one she told for months after her interrogation. Let’s recall that it was the complainant, through her proxy, who accepted the [plea] arrangement and agreed to it. We can only just wonder why, immediately after signing it, and completely contrasted with her position as presented to the judge advocate general, the complainant came out against the deal, while defaming all those involved in its drafting.”

Former Givati commander Liran Hajbi (photo credit: IDF spokesman)
Former Givati commander Liran Hajbi (photo credit: IDF spokesman)

Hajbi was indicted in March for hugging, kissing, and harassing his female subordinate by text messages, and another clause that was not made public. He was relieved of his position last December.

“There are those who will choose to remember the ranks and the awards, but I just remember the repulsive actions against me, and the trauma that will likely accompany me for the rest of my life,” Fatal wrote. “A hero of Israel should get a citation, a medal, or a decoration from the chief of staff, but he is not above the law.”

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