A 25-year-old Palestinian was violently arrested by Israeli soldiers after he was falsely accused of throwing stones during a clash in the West Bank. The man, Ansar Aasi, was released after being held for six days and was cleared of all suspicions.
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In a video published Friday by the human rights group B'Tselem, Aasi can be seen working in a warehouse when a group of soldiers appears and arrests him. The soldiers then proceed to psychically attack Aasi with their rifles, kicking him while he's on the ground. B'Tselem said that as a result of the attack, the 25-year-old Palestinian required medical care.
According to the group, after the arrest, Aasi was in jail for two days before being questioned by the police, who reportedly told him that the soldiers had seen him throwing stones during clashes in the West Bank town of al-Bireh earlier this month. The Palestinian denied the allegation and reportedly offered an alibi, which the rights group claims went ignored until he was taken to the Ofer Military Court and the video documenting his arrest was screened. He was then released, some 10 days ago.
Speaking with Haaretz, Aasi said that he tried to tell the soldiers that he was not involved in the clashes, but that they refused to listen, beating him instead. "From the beginning I told the investigators that I didn’t throw any stones and that I have proof, but they took their time before looking into it, and I sat in detention for six days for no reason. It was a nightmare," he said. "They took me to some place, I didn't know where. It was very cold and I was wearing a t-shirt. I haven't slept for days because of the injuries," he said.
The IDF said in response that "an initial investigation of the event indicates the soldiers' behavior was incongruent with what is expected of an IDF soldier. The incident is being examined by commanders and disciplinary action will be taken according to its results."