Israeli soldiers dismissed for swearing-in protest


JERUSALEM (JTA) —  Two Israeli soldiers who disrupted their swearing-in ceremony to protest the potential removal of West Bank settlements were expelled from their unit.

The two soldiers from the Kfir infantry brigade were sentenced Sunday to 20 days in a military prison and will not be permitted to serve as combat soldiers.

The men waved signs with statements like "We did not enlist in order to evacuate Jews" at a parade at the Western Wall prayer plaza to celebrate the end of basic training, according to reports. Another sign vowed not to help evacuate the West Bank settlement of Homesh. 

"This was a disgraceful disciplinary aberration that will be addressed," a military spokesman said in a statement last Friday. "The Kfir commander will, furthermore, consider whether these soldiers will continue to serve in the brigade."

An unnamed brother of one of the protesters said it was clear that the soldiers would be serving in the West Bank, where "they are going to take on the settlers" as a freeze and the prospect of dismantling illegal outposts looms.

"And everyone knows what the damage of that is, both on the personal and the ideological levels," he told Army Radio.

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