JERUSALEM (Mar. 27)
A 19-year-old soldier was sentenced by a Jaffa military court Sunday to 18 months in prison for fleeing his guard post without resisting a terrorist. The terrorist entered an army camp in upper Galilee nearly five months ago, killing six soldiers and wounding seven before he was shot to death.
Pvt. Ron Almog received an additional 18 month sentence, which was suspended.
The court told him his actions had been “shameful by any standards of military conduct.” But the three-judge tribunal opted for leniency, because the young soldier’s abandonment of his post was judged in the context of general negligence and inefficiency revealed at the camp.
The incident occurred during the night of Nov. 25, 1987, when a lone terrorist attacked the camp after scaling the Israeli-Lebanese border on a motorized hang glider. Many Israelis believe the success of the daring raid triggered the Palestinian uprising in the administered territories, which began two weeks later, on Dec.9.
The prosecutor, Capt. Zvi Garfunkel, noted that the soldier had not even loaded his gun, much less shot at the intruder, who approached the camp gate firing an automatic weapon.
Almog and his mother broke down in court when they heard the sentence. His father told reporters that the teen-age soldier was being saddled with sole responsibility for the failure by senior officers to maintain security at the camp.