ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 139

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Soldier jailed for throwing rocks at anti-overhaul protesters from army HQ

IDF says it views soldier’s behavior ‘with severity’; serviceman sentenced to 30 days for Saturday’s incident in Tel Aviv

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

A masked Israeli soldier is seen inside the IDF's headquarters in Tel Aviv. The serviceman allegedly hurled stones at protesters outside the base, July 1, 2023. (Screenshot: Twitter)
A masked Israeli soldier is seen inside the IDF's headquarters in Tel Aviv. The serviceman allegedly hurled stones at protesters outside the base, July 1, 2023. (Screenshot: Twitter)

An Israeli soldier was jailed for 30 days for hurling stones at protesters in Tel Aviv on Saturday, during a mass demonstration against the government’s planned judicial overhaul.

Footage circulating on social media showed the alleged serviceman, who was masked, standing behind a fence inside the Israel Defense Forces’ headquarters in central Tel Aviv, also known as the Kirya military base. The short clip did not show the soldier throwing stones.

The IDF said it had opened an investigation following reports that a soldier had thrown stones from inside the base toward the nearby protest on Kaplan Street. No injuries were reported.

After the soldier was located and admitted to the act, he was sentenced by the commander of the base’s security unit to a month in jail, the IDF said.

“The IDF views the soldier’s behavior with severity,” the military said in a statement Sunday.

A Military Police investigation was not opened, as the incident was quickly wrapped up by the soldier’s commanders.

Protesters have been rallying against the government’s efforts to shake up the judiciary for 26 weeks straight.

Channel 13 partner Crowd Solutions estimated some 130,000 participants at the main protest on Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Street on Saturday night, while organizers put the number at some 150,000. Nationwide, the organizers claimed a turnout of some 286,000.

In March, an IDF soldier was detained after he allegedly pulled a gun and threatened a group of demonstrators protesting the judicial overhaul.

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