Israeli Officer to Be Jailed for Breaking Italian Man's Cameras in West Bank

The officer led the man to a nearby military and broke two of his cameras during a demonstration in Hebron. The fact that an indictment was filed and the decision to send him to jail are both unusual

Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger
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Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger

An officer in the Israeli army will be jailed for 22 days after he admitted to breaking the camera of an Italian citizen in the West Bank.

The officer, who serves in the Israeli military's paratroopers' brigade and is ranked captain, reached a plea deal with the Military Advocate General.

In February 2017, the officer was in charge of dispersing a demonstration in the West Bank city of Hebron during which rocks were hurled. Despite the fact that the Italian man whose cameras were later broken was not suspected of hurling rocks, the officer and several other soldiers led him to a nearby military post and broke two cameras that were in his possession.

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The officer claimed that the man had cursed him. According to the indictment, "the defendant broke the two cameras of the civilian without any operational justification and while overstepping authority."

The fact that an indictment was filed against the officer as well as the decision to send him to jail only for only a short amount of time are both unusual. A source familiar with the case told Haaretz that this is an unusual decision because "it's an excellent officer, who might continue serving in the army."

The Israel Defense Forces' Spokesperson's Unit issued the following statement regarding the incident: "Today, August 30, 2018, an indictment was filed to a military court against an officer ranked captain over a felony of causing damage to property while overstepping authority."

The statement went on to read: "In February 2017, at a military post, the officer broke two cameras without any operational justification. The cameras belonged to a foreign national who was detained previously by troops over his participation in a protest. The officer's conduct in the incident was against what is expected of IDF officers and soldiers."

The officer is likely to admit to the actions attributed to him in the indictment as part of the plea deal, according to which he will spend 22 days in military prison. The deal has not been presented to the court yet, but will be in order to receive the court's final approval.