The IDF revealed Sunday that the two soldiers arrested last week on suspicion of firing an army-issued handgun at a camel near the Dead Sea were from the elite Duvdevan combat unit.
Duvdevan commandos regularly operate in the West Bank undercover to make arrests and stop terror threats.
The pair, who have been in custody since Monday, had their remand extended on Sunday for a third time.
In the incident, the soldier in the passenger seat filmed the other as he drove their car down a road in the desert, passed the camel and fired at it, with one of them bursting out laughing as they sped away. Investigators discovered that the soldiers had attempted to delete the film, but were unsuccessful, the Haaretz newspaper reported.
The incident took place some two and a half weeks ago, in late November, while the two were on leave.
They were arrested Monday by the Military Police, and their service in the elite unit was suspended.
“This was a serious incident that does not meet the standards expected from IDF soldiers,” the army said in a statement.
Attorneys for the two soldiers acknowledged the severity of the incident, but noted that they had confessed to their actions. The lawyers argued for leniency towards the soldiers, given the dangerous nature of their military service and their unblemished records.
Both were slated to begin officer’s training in the coming days.
Etti Altman, chair of the Israeli animal rights NGO “Let the Animals Live,” slammed the incident as “shameful” and called for an extended prison term for each of the two soldiers. “Where did their compassion go, the mercy toward defenseless creatures?”