A Palestinian boy waves a flag in the West Bank.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The IDF suspended the commander of a group of Israeli soldiers suspected of torching a Palestinian flag on Wednesday morning at the West Bank checkpoint where they were stationed near Nablus.
The IDF spokesperson's unit confirmed the details of the incident at the Awarta checkpoint.
During the incident, the soldiers apparently took the flag from a nearby parked car and threw it on the ground in front of hundreds of Palestinians who were in the area. Afterward, one of the soldiers ignited the flag with a lighter.
An IDF spokesperson said that the soldier's commanders were familiar with the incident and that an investigation has been opened into the events.
An official Palestinian complaint has been filed to the Foreign Ministry regarding the issue.
"Initial investigations reveal that the incident was an unusual one in which the forces acted against what was expected of them, against the orders of their commanders and it will be dealt with with disciplinary action," the spokesman added.
After the initial investigation the soldiers' commander was suspended from his role and sent to military jail for 20 days.
An additional soldier involved was ordered confined to his base for 28 days.
Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze'ev Elkin responded to the punishment doled out to the commander, writing on his Twitter account, "In light of the speed and determination with which the IDF decided to punish soldiers who burned a Palestinian flag, I hope the same determination is present against Palestinians or Arab Israelis who burn Israeli flags."