'Force not allowed during questioning'

OC Central Command speaks at trial of 2 soldiers accused of using unnecessary violence in W. Bank.

September 10, 2009 12:29
1 minute read.
'Force not allowed during questioning'

Shamni 248.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Israeli soldiers are not allowed to hit or use force during the questioning of Palestinian detainees in arrest operations in the West Bank, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni said Thursday, contradicting an earlier statement by commander of the Kfir Brigade. Shamni made the remarks during testimony he gave at the Jaffa Military Court in the trial of Lt. Adam Malul who was charged with hitting a Palestinian during an IDF arrest operation in the village of Kadum last year. "There are clear codes of conduct in Judea and Samaria, on what is allowed and what is forbidden," Shamni said. "It is all clear and the soldiers know where the red lines are." Soldiers, the general said, are allowed to use force if needed during an operation and in order to complete their operation. But, he said, not during questioning. "We don't use force after a person is arrested," he said. "It is permitted to question verbally but that is how it should begin and end. Any use of force during a questioning requires a long list of authorizations and is not done by soldiers but by professional interrogators," he said. Shamni was subpoenaed by Malul's defense attorney Shemi Cohen to clarify what type of force soldiers are allowed to use during operations in the West Bank. The defense claims that Malul's actions were in line with Kfir Brigade procedures. In May, commander of the Kfir Brigade Col. Itay Virob testified in court that violence can be used under exceptional circumstances. Virob's comments caused a storm in the IDF and he was reprimanded by Shamni. "I expect the commanders, even when under pressure, to know what the red lines are and to act accordingly," Shamni said in court on Thursday. Following Shamni's testimony, Malul told reporters that "Shamni lives in an ivory tower, disconnected from the field." "I am not ashamed of what I did, it's part of our military operations," he said. "I have no problem telling the cameras that I hit a Palestinian when I was searching for a weapon. If there needs to be the scapegoat, then I'm proud to be it."

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