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IDF soldier jailed for stealing packet of cigarettes from Palestinian store

Shoplifting paratrooper admits error, saying he immediately threw the stolen pack away; army condemns ‘irregular and unacceptable event,’ imprisons him for 14 days

An IDF soldier steals a cigarette pack from a Palestinian store, caught on CCTV footage, December 27, 2020. (Screenshot: Twitter)
An IDF soldier steals a cigarette pack from a Palestinian store, caught on CCTV footage, December 27, 2020. (Screenshot: Twitter)

An Israel Defense Forces soldier has reportedly been jailed for 14 days after footage emerged of him stealing a packet of cigarettes in a Palestinian store during operational activity.

Video from the store’s security camera shows the moment the soldier shoplifted, concealing the cigarette pack in his pocket, according to the Tuesday report by the Kan public broadcaster.

The incident took place Sunday night, during search and arrest operations in the northern West Bank. The footage quickly reached the soldier’s commanding officers, who immediately opened an investigation into the matter.

Quickly admitting to the act, the soldier told officers that he had understood his mistake in real time, throwing the pack away when he left the kiosk.

The soldier faced a trial Tuesday by the commander of the Paratroopers Brigade and was sentenced to two weeks in military prison and an additional two weeks on probation. Upon completing his punishment, he will face a committee that will decide whether or not to remove him from combat duty.

In response to the incident, a spokesperson for the military said: “This an irregular and unacceptable event, which does not meet the standards required of a combat soldier. The IDF condemns this type of misconduct and will continue to act proactively and unequivocally to prevent such events, investigate them in-depth and reach conclusions.”

The IDF on Thursday released statistics illustrating its activities over the past year, including 2,277 arrests in the West Bank, a slight decrease from the previous years: 2,328 in 2019; 3,173 in 2018; and 3,627 in 2017.

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