5 Israeli soldiers indicted in beating of 2 handcuffed Palestinians


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli military court has indicted five soldiers in the beating of two detained Palestinians while they were handcuffed and blindfolded.

The soldiers punched the Palestinians and hit them with heavy objects, according to the indictment, and reportedly recorded the incident on a cellphone. The detainees, said to be a father and son, were seriously injured.

The court has charged the soldiers, who were arrested earlier this month, with abuse and aggravated assault in the Jan. 8 incident. They are members of the Kfir Brigade’s Netzah Yehuda infantry battalion for religious soldiers.

Their platoon commander is accused of knowing about the beatings and not stopping them. Military prosecutors are determining what action to take against him.

The Palestinian men were arrested near Ramallah while Israeli troops were looking for the shooter who fired on a bus stop outside the West Bank settlement of Givat Asaf. Two soldiers from the unit were killed in the attack and another soldier from the unit, a dual Israeli and American citizen, was seriously injured, as was a female civilian.

The possibility of a revenge attack did not appear in the indictment, however, Haaretz reported.

The two Palestinians are suspected of helping the Givat Asaf shooter escape, though they have not yet been charged.

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