{July 23, 2008}   Runaway stripper sent to army jail for 75 days

IDF private sentenced to military imprisonment after deserting base to support pregnant girlfriend

An Israel Defense Forces soldier who found himself in a harsh economic situation was forced to defect from his army service and work as a stripper, as revealed in a military court. For a 100-day desertion, he will have to spend 75 days in a military prison. Military courts deal with runaway soldiers all the time, but in the past few days the unusual story of Private A. who serves in the communications unit of the Central Command, was revealed.

A. whose parents severed all ties from him, lives with his girlfriend, who was expecting a baby. Due to his difficult economic situation, the soldier was forced to run away from the army in order to support his family. In the meantime, the pressure felt by his girlfriend coupled with her health condition caused her to miscarry.As a result of the first desertion which lasted 105 days, A. was sentenced to a short imprisonment and was sentenced to a stipulated punishment of 50 days if he runs away again.

However, this was not the end of the story. A. escaped from his unit an additional time, this time for 100 days. “He returned to the unit and tried serving,” said his lawyer, Attorney Evgeny Yakubov, at the Jaffa military court.

“His personal circumstances are not easy. His girlfriend was in her first two months of pregnancy and the two wanted… to bring a child into the world,” added Yakubov. The attorney explained that although A. requested to serve in an open unit, in which he can return home every day, he preferred contributing to the IDF and was forced to desert the base when he understood that he won’t be able work during his army service. “When I returned from my first imprisonment,” said A., “the company commander said that I will stay there. I told him that I am having difficulties. He gave me his word that I would not stay on base during the weekends.” After a short period of time, A. understood that there was a huge gap between the promises made and reality. He was asked to stay weekends due to, “lack of manpower.” A. was forced to run away. “A social conditions NCO arrived at my house when I left the base the second time. How does that help me? “I didn’t say that I don’t want to serve, I said that they should give me a hand, I enlisted gladly. I fell so low that I worked in stripping in order to get out of debt because I have responsibilities, I have a woman who wants a child with me…I have an overdraft and I needed to run away in order to return to this job.” President of the Jaffa military court, Colonel Rachel Tevet-Vizel noted that on the one hand she weighed out the long period A. was missing. On the other hand, she took his situation into consideration and weighed out the fact that after his first desertion period, he was not placed in an open unit. In her opinion, this detail must work in A.’s benefit when sentencing him.

Tevet-Vizel determined that he will serve a 650-day imprisonment for his last desertion and a 10-day imprisonment as part of the stipulated punishment. “The difficult circumstances cannot be ignored,” the judge said, partially identifying with the solder.



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