Israel Won't Investigate IDF Soldier Photographed Next to Bound Palestinians

While the deputy state prosecutor says Eden Aberjil's actions do not justify criminal proceedings, he will launch criminal investigations into two other IDF soldiers over footage of controversial behavior.

Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan decided Thursday not to launch a criminal investigation against former Israel Defense Forces soldier Eden Aberjil, who in 2010 photographed herself standing next to tied up Palestinian detainees. Instead, he ordered an investigation against another two soldiers.

The first of the IDF soldiers to be investigated was pictured pointing a rifle at a bound and blindfolded detainee who stood beside him. The other soldier to be investigated filmed a video of himself dancing to music around a tied-up and blindfolded Palestinian woman. Both photographs and the video were posted on Facebook.

Nitzan said Aberjil's photographs, which stirred up a storm around the world, are shameful, yet they do not justify criminal proceedings, only disciplinary ones. "Since military law does not apply to Eden Aberjil, it is not possible to take disciplinary measures against her nor are criminal proceedings justified," said Nitzan. Aberjil was discharged from the IDF in 2009.

Nitzan called on the military authorities to strengthen military law enforcement by educational means and by introducing harsher penalties.

After Aberji's photographs were revealed, she said she "still doesn't understand what was wrong." The photographs were uploaded to Facebook with the title "The army: the best time of my life." "It was an innocent photograph," she said. "There was no statement in the picture."

Aberjil said the photographs were taken near Gaza, and that the detainees were Palestinians caught trying to cross the fence. She said the photographs "reflected an army experience" and were not intended to harm the detainees. She added that she didn't speak to them, and only brought them food and water.

Eden Aberjil
Eden Aberjil