IDF soldier charged with raping, assaulting female comrade

Crime allegedly occurred while members of the combat unit were on a social night out in Tel Aviv; trial to be held in military court

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Illustrative. A man's hands in handcuffs. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Illustrative. A man's hands in handcuffs. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

An IDF soldier was charged on Wednesday with raping and sexually assaulting last month a female soldier who served with him in a combat battalion, the army said.

The alleged crimes were said to have occurred while a group of soldiers from the unit were in Tel Aviv on a social night out in June. In accordance with army rules, despite the suspected rape happening in “civilian circumstances,” the case will be tried in an IDF military court.

According to the indictment, during the night out, the two kissed, but the female soldier broke it off and made clear to the defendant that she wasn’t interested in a relationship with him.

As the night was winding down, the female soldier invited those who didn’t have a place to sleep back to her house, including her alleged rapist.

At one point, the soldier allegedly entered the victim’s room and kissed her, despite her opposition. She told him to leave, but then said he could return so long as he understood that it was only “as friends and nothing more,” according to the charge sheet.

He came back to the room, and, according to the prosecution, in the middle of the night, the victim awoke to find the soldier on top of her, trying to have sex with her.

According to the indictment, she struggled with him, asking him to stop, but he raped her, telling her that she “loves it.”

Once he finished, the victim kicked him out of the house, the prosecution said in its indictment.

The indictment was filed in the IDF Military Court in Jaffa.

The identity of the soldier, as well as the unit in which they serve, is being kept under a court-issued gag order.

He was arrested on June 28, after the female soldier filed a complaint against him.

The soldier was also charged with using marijuana on the night of the rape.

Along with the indictment, the prosecution also filed a request with the court to keep the accused soldier in jail until the end of the trial.

The Jaffa court agreed only to keep him in custody until July 25, though this may change as more evidence comes to light.

This case was one of three instances of sexual crimes that have come to light in the IDF in the past two months.

On Wednesday, the head of the IDF Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir dismissed from his position the head of the mixed-gender Caracal Battalion amid investigation that the officer had an illicit but consensual relationship with a subordinate, which is against IDF rules.

Also in May, Military Police also arrested a soldier on suspicion of raping one of the female soldiers in his unit the month before. The soldiers reportedly served in the mixed-gender Bardelas Battalion, though this could not be confirmed with the IDF. The suspect’s lawyers did not deny that their client and his accuser had sex, but claimed that it was consensual, according to a Ynet news report at the time.

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