IDF officers accused of beating soldiers

Officers in an advanced training course in the Givati Brigade of the IDF have been accused of excessively violent behavior towards soldiers under their command, Israel Radio reported Monday morning. A commander allegedly beat the soldiers, kicked them and broke sticks over their bodies as disciplinary measures. One soldier, who had been asked to play the part of a wounded man in a drill, was violently beaten because his shouts for help weren't loud enough to please his commanders. In another instance, a soldier who smiled while standing at attention received kicks and blows from the officers. Soldiers in the company said that the officers forbade them to report the company's methods of corporal punishment. Officers in another Givati battalion who witnessed the abuse reported it to the senior Givati command. As a result, one sergeant was sentenced to three weeks in prison for acts of violence. A platoon commander received a reprimand. A spokesman for IDF Southern Command told The Jerusalem Post that they are aware of and investigating two incidents but he denied the alleged violence was part of disciplinary action Givati platoon commander Yoel Strick, in an Israel Radio interview Monday afternoon, insisted that respect was one of the most important values for Givati soldiers, and that the Givati Brigade was "not an organization that would allow a person's dignity to be harmed." Strick also said he believed that the details of the alleged abuse had not been presented accurately, but he did not provide an alternate version.
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