IDF indicts 6 soldiers for suspected looting from Palestinians
The IDF has issued indictments against six soldiers suspected of looting and stealing money, jewelry, computer parts and other items from Palestinians during Operation Defensive Shield, which was mounted in the West Bank in an effort to root out terrorism.
Palestinians had accused soldiers of looting. In response, the IDF said on April 25 that it was looking into the allegations and had arrested four soldiers. An IDF statement said such cases "have been and will be dealt with harshly."
According to the indictments, the soldiers stole cash, jewelry, a gilded sword, pipes, mobile phones and computer parts in four separate incidents.
In one case, three soldiers at a roadblock near the West Bank town of Qalqilyah stopped a Palestinian for an identity check on April 20. The soldiers removed about NIS 700 ($146) from the Palestinian's wallet and distributed the money among themselves.
The Palestinian later filed a complaint. When the soldiers' commander confronted them about the incident, they confessed and turned in the money, which was returned to the Palestinian. The commander then pressed charges against the soldiers.
Another soldier was accused of breaking into homes in the West Bank city of Ramallah when his unit took up positions there during the fighting. He allegedly stole a silver sword with a golden scabbard, two wooden pipes, 15 computer parts including a number of hard disks, four mobile telephones and seven batteries.
In a third incident, the commander of a unit that occupied Ramallah last month found three disks and a wallet with NIS 100 ($20) on a soldier who is suspected of taking them from a music store in a West Bank town.
Another soldier allegedly broke into a home in Nablus and stole several mobile phones, the indictment said.
The indictments also accused the soldiers of "behavior unbecoming of their ranks."