Soldiers Sentenced in Bulldozer Case

Two Israel Defense Force soldiers were sentenced to prison by a Jaffa military court Tuesday for their role in the attempted burial alive of three Palestinian youths in Kfar Salim village in the West Bank last Feb. 5.

Pvt. Dror Sagan-Cohen was given a four-month term at a military prison and another six months’ probation. Pvt. Yair Nissimi received a five-month prison sentence and seven months’ probation. The military tribunal said they “dishonored the army and portrayed Israel in a negative light.”

It rejected a plea-bargaining deal between the prosecution and defense that would have resulted in lighter sentences.

The soldiers were found guilty of forcing three Palestinian stone-throwers to lie on the ground while a bulldozer covered their bodies with earth. The three were rescued by villagers after the soldiers left.

The military judges said the accused had acted in a manner unbecoming to an IDF soldier and brought shame to the Israeli army. “Even under difficult circumstances, soldiers must preserve their humanity,” the judges declared.

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