Soldiers beat an innocent Palestinian onlooker in a storage room during a protest just outside of Ramallah earlier this month, the Israeli non-governmental group B’Tselem charged on Friday.
It distributed a video of the October 6 incident, which it posted on YouTube.
The video opens as a slim 25-year old Palestinian man, in jeans and a red T-shirts, stands in a storage room for a cleaning products company in El-Bireh.
He is trying to bring supply boxes into the storage area as Palestinians and IDF soldiers clash outside.
Initially he can be seen in the open doorway looking at the street, before venturing out to pick up a box. He places brings it into the narrow storage room stacked toilet paper and other supplies.
Suddenly a soldier runs into the storage room, pushes him down and and starts beating him, followed by three others.
The Palestinian man refuses to get up and walk out of the room on his own volition. During the video, which lasts for five minutes, there are times when soldiers are clearly kicking him and prodding him with their rifles as he lies on the floor.
Eventually they are able to drag him out of the storage room.
The soldiers handed him to the Judea and Samaria police and charged that he had thrown rocks.
According to B’Tselem he was treated at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem for injuries he sustained during the beating and arrest by the police.
B’Tselem charged that the police refused to check evidence to counter the soldier’s claim, including the video, which was taken from the store’s security cameras.
“Only following an arrest extension hearing at the Ofer military court, was the police willing to view the footage, which was brought to them on Friday, 9.10.2015,” B’Tselem said.
The 25-year old Palestinian was released unconditionally on Sunday, October 11th “after five days in wrongful detention,” B’Tselem said.
A Judea and Samaria police spokesman said that their officers were not present at the time of the incident, which was handled by the army.
The soldiers charged that the Palestinian had thrown stones, but when police investigate the matter, they discovered that he was innocent of the charge and released him, the spokesman said.
He dismissed B’Tselem’s claim that they had sat on the evidence as he explained that in such investigations it takes time to assess what really occurred.
The army said it was investigating the matter. But initial results indicate that the soldiers actions were unacceptable and disciplinary measures could be taken.
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