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Attorney Claims Soldiers Used Excessive Force on West Bank at Direct Orders from the C.o.s.

January 21, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The defense attorney for an Israeli major and six soldiers accused of using excessive force to subdue Arab demonstrators on the West Bank claimed in court today that the defendants were acting under the direct orders of Chief of Staff Gen. Rafael Eitan.

The attorney submitted for the record documents containing the minutes of a staff meeting at which Eitan allegedly ordered indiscriminate harassment of the Arab civilian population on the West Bank to curb disturbances in the territory last March. He also instructed military courts in the area to impose stiffer punishment on Arabs arrested for disorderly conduct.

The full contents of the documents were not made public. If they are challenged by the military prosecutor’s office, Eitan may be summoned to testify at the trial.

The operations officer of the Judaea district testified yesterday that orders were issued to soldiers to shoot at solar water heaters on the roofs of Arab buildings, to smash wristwatches and to shoot into alleys in order to enforce curfews. The seven defendants are charged specifically with assaulting Arab students at the Islamic University in Hebron and maltreating other Arabs. The trial is expected to end next week.

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