The Israel Defense Forces has opened an investigation into allegations that 46 Palestinians were detained for no reason at a West Bank checkpoint for 16 hours last week, and their car tires punctured. The human rights group MachsomWatch (which overlooks IDF activity at checkpoints) filed a complaint about the incident with the army.
According to a MachsomWatch report, IDF troops at the checkpoint, located along Highway 5, stopped the Palestinian job-seekers, males aged between 14 and 50, on suspicion of trying to enter Israel along with five drivers suspected of ferrying illegals. The Palestinians were detained early in the morning, and kept standing for hours, on the grounds that "when they sit down they make trouble." They were barred from using the restrooms adjacent to the checkpoint, compelling them to use the thorny field, in plain view of those passing through the checkpoint. They were not permitted to eat and were given only water. Requests to take medication, sit down, or lean back were met with contempt or disregard by the soldiers.
In addition, the detainees' car tires were punctured in the parking lot, and some cars had speakers broken and pedals severely damaged, the report said.
According to the IDF Spokesperson's Office, the army condemns inappropriate conduct and will review the case brought to its attention by MachsomWatch.
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