Two months after the lynching incident in Givat Oz Zion, residents report that the local resident Yehuda Liber, who serves in mandatory military service in the IDF's Binyamin division in the "Hesder" track, recently requested to extend his military service beyond the usual time. However, it was allegedly conveyed to him that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) instructed not to allow an extension of his service.
They also shared that a few months earlier, when he requested permission to take his weapon home for the purpose of protecting his family, he was allegedly met with disrespect by a senior officer in the IDF's Judea and Samaria Division. According to them, the response was, "IDF weapons are not meant to protect the residents of the settlements."
According to sources in Givat Oz Zion, the inexplicable refusal came suddenly after his commanders had already informed Liber that they approved the extension of his service. The commanders explained, with the intervention of the Jewish Division in the Shin Bet, which demanded Liber's removal from the IDF. It should be noted that Liber has no criminal record and has never been investigated for violent incidents or other nationalist events.
Furthermore, it is alleged that the discriminatory treatment that Liber received, a married man and father of three who is considered one of the founders of Givat Oz, did not end with his removal from military service. Several months before, when he requested permission to take his weapon home, he was met with outright refusal by a senior officer in the Judea and Samaria Division, who responded dismissively, saying, "IDF weapons are not meant to protect the residents of the settlements."
"The officers treat the residents as an enemy"
Residents of Givat Oz Zion strongly reacted to the decision that, in their view, unjustly prohibited the soldier from extending his service. They criticized the conduct of the coordinators of the Jewish Department in the Shin Bet and officers of the Judea and Samaria Division, viewing it as an absolute loss of values and a hostile attitude toward the settlers. They questioned the officer's mentality that led him to belittle the residents in such a manner. They also questioned for whom the IDF weapons are meant to protect if not the residents of the settlements; implying that perhaps they are meant to protect the neighboring Arab village with a history of violence.
According to them: "It's sad to see that even when a resident who is married and has children decides to leave his family at home and serve in the army for the sake of his people and his land, the officers in the Judea and Samaria Division belittle his family's life and do everything in their power to thwart his steps."
In conclusion, they said, "For years, the Judea and Samaria Division has desperately claimed morning and night that the young men of the settlements are not Zionist and pioneering individuals who refuse to enlist and defend the country. Now this episode exposes the corruption of the system and proves beyond any doubt that the ones preventing the young men of the settlements from enlisting are precisely the security establishment itself," they concluded in Giv'at Oz Zion.
Regarding the IDF's response to the allegations, it was stated, "The soldier served in the IDF in the Hesder Yeshiva track, and the date of his release was determined upon his entry into the program on September 19, 2023, the day he was actually released. According to security sources, the soldier was involved in nationalist-motivated activities against the security forces during his service, and in light of this information, it was decided not to grant his request for an extension of service."