Soldier Who Snubbed Halutz Stripped of Award and Discharged

Staff Sergeant Hananel (Meged) Dayan

The IDF soldier awarded for outstanding service who refused to shake the Chief of Staff’s hand over the officer’s role in the Gaza withdrawal has been demoted, and his prize might be revoked.

Tags: Ezra HaLevi , 05/05/06 12:58 | updated: 10:43 Share

Staff Sergeant Hananel (Meged) Dayan received the award during an Independence Day ceremony on Wednesday and was tried Thursday. He first appeared before his IDF Regiment Commander, who said he understood Dayan’s actions but that according to military regulations he must stand trial before the Brigade Commander.

The Brigade Commander ruled that Dayan, a tank driver, is no longer eligible to be either a commander or a combat soldier. He also ruled that the soldier be stripped of the award for outstanding service, including the revoking of a $1,500 cash prize. This latter clause will be reconsidered next week, however.

The award for excellence granted to Dayan read as follows: “Despite the severity of his personal loss, he continued to function and contribute to the unit. He is embraced by his fellow soldiers and is happy to perform any task or mission given to him and his friends from his company.”

Katif.net reports that lawyers are reviewing Dayan’s case and plan to appeal it.

Friends and family of the soldier say they are unwilling to accept the army’s harsh response to a soldier who respectfully saluted the Chief of Staff, but could not bring himself to give a friendly handshake to the man responsible for destroying his family’s home in Gush Katif, rendering them homeless refugees.

Three generations of Dayan’s family and relatives lived in Gush Katif and his grandfather passed away shortly after the region was declared closed to non-residents.

The community of evictees from Ganei Tal, where Dayan’s uncle and cousins lived, sent a huge bouquet to Dayan’s family, with letters of encouragement from residents.

Military prosecutor Hedva Shapira sharply attacked the army’s decision, saying it does not jibe with either civilian or military law. The Yesha Council and Yesha Rabbis Council issued statements in support of the soldier.

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