IDF Netzah Yehuda soldiers suspended after filmed beating Palestinians

Netzah Yehuda, a specialized IDF enlistment track for haredi soldiers, has a history of some abusing their positions and mistreating Palestinians.

IDF soldiers at West Bank checkpoint 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
IDF soldiers at West Bank checkpoint 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

Four combat soldiers were suspended on Wednesday after they were filmed beating two Palestinians west of Ramallah.

In the video, the soldiers can be seen pushing the Palestinians to the ground and kicking them repeatedly.

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The incident was filmed by Palestinians who posted it on TikTok.

Following the incident, the Military Police launched an investigation, and the initial findings revealed that the soldiers had flagged a car they deemed suspicious and treated the driver and passenger with unnecessary violence.

“This is a severe and repugnant incident that is in serious violation of the IDF’s values,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi said. “The soldiers involved are not worthy of serving. The incident will be fully investigated by the commanders and the Military Police. Those involved will be brought to justice.”

 IDF soldiers operate in the West Bank, April 11, 2022 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) IDF soldiers operate in the West Bank, April 11, 2022 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

"There never has been and never will be a place in the IDF for such behavior."

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi

The soldiers were from the 97th Netzah Yehuda Battalion, Channel 13 reported.

Netzah Yehuda is a specialized track for haredi soldiers that was previously known as Nahal Haredi. It was established in 1999, and its soldiers began to be stationed in the Ramallah area from 2015.

This was not the first time Netzah Yehuda soldiers have been caught in such a scandal.

Previous Netzah Yehuda abuse incidents

Last October, several soldiers from the battalion were arrested after an investigation was opened when a Palestinian prisoner said he had been physically abused. The investigation revealed that the soldiers had beaten the prisoner while he was handcuffed and blindfolded.

In January, an 80-year-old man was found dead of a heart attack after Netzah Yehuda soldiers detained him in Jaljulya, a village north of Ramallah. The soldiers said they had arrested him because he resisted a security check and that they released him alive. But photos from the scene of his arrest showed him on the floor with his hands handcuffed in zip ties, and there was suspicion of abuse.

Netzah Yehuda soldiers also have been known to ignore incidents in which Jews attack Palestinians in the West Bank, letting them go without facing consequences. They also have been known to harass Peace Now activists, with a number of soldiers in one video discussing how they should shoot one of the activists.