IDF troops to be indicted for beating Palestinian detainees

Two IDF soldiers were also sentenced to 14 months in prison for looting and sexually harassing Palestinians at the Kalandiya checkpoint.

Israeli soldiers walk during clashes with Palestinians in Ramallah in the West Bank, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Israeli soldiers walk during clashes with Palestinians in Ramallah in the West Bank, 2018.
Five IDF soldiers suspected of seriously beating two Palestinian detainees will be indicted by Israel’s military prosecutor, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced on Sunday.
The five soldiers, who serve in the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion, were arrested on January 10 and had their detention extended until now by the military court. The prosecution is expected to request an extension of the arrest until the end of the proceedings.
The five soldiers were arrested on suspicion of beating the two detainees while they were handcuffed and blindfolded, leaving them severely injured as a result of the beating.
According to the military they will be charged with committing aggravated offenses, causing severe injury under aggravated circumstances and some of them on suspicion of attempting to disrupt the interrogation.
While the military did not give a date of the beating, the two Palestinians had been arrested in the Ramallah area as part of the army’s efforts to locate Asam Barghouti, who killed two soldiers from the Netzah Yehuda Battalion outside the West Bank outpost of Givat Assaf.
In addition to the soldiers, their commanding officer who holds the rank of lieutenant was also arrested. A court hearing on his case will take place later on Sunday.
The military is investigating whether the soldiers had been motivated by revenge for their comrades killed in the deadly attack.
According to a report by Haaretz, one of the Palestinians was so badly beaten that he needed medical care and could not be interrogated.
The Netzah Yehuda Battalion, which was established 20 years ago, is made up of religious soldiers ranging from ultra-Orthodox Israelis to new immigrants to those who identify with the radical Hilltop Youth settler movement.
Also on Sunday, the military court in Jaffa sentenced two soldiers to 14 months in prison for sexually harassing a Palestinian woman and a European tourist a stealing
NIS 1,600 from Palestinians crossing through the Kalandiya checkpoint outside Jerusalem.
The two suspects who had been serving in the Military Police at the checkpoint admitted that they had ordered the Palestinian woman and European tourist, in two different incidents, to undress unnecessarily.
They were arrested in September and their conviction on Sunday  was accepted as part of a plea bargain and had been subject to the approval of the military court.