Three Israeli Soldiers Indicted on Charges of Beating Arrested Palestinian

The soldiers say it was the Palestinian who attacked them first and tried to hit their commander in the eye.

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian during a searching raid by Israeli troops, in the West Bank city of Hebron September 20, 2016.
Mussa Issa Qawasama / Reuters

Three soldiers were indicted in military court Thursday on suspicions of beating a Palestinian after he had been arrested last October.

Military prosecutors asked that the three be detained until the end of the proceedings against them; the judge will decide Sunday.

Last week the three soldiers, from the 50th battalion of the Nahal infantry brigade, were ordered to be kept in detention until the indictment was issued.

The soldiers’ military lawyers protested that the investigation progressed very slowly, saying it was the Palestinian who attacked the soldiers.

Immediately after the incident, the military said the Palestinian had tried to attack the soldiers and even hit their commander in the eye. But the Military Police have since received testimony from another soldier in the battalion, which led to the indictment.

The lawyers, however, say this other soldier has since reversed his position. The lawyers say their clients are outstanding soldiers who acted as required during the arrest.

“The indictment is based on the testimony of a soldier who took back his mistaken claims against the soldiers,” the lawyers said in a statement.

“In such a situation there was no reason to file an indictment, and we are convinced that the military court will not grant the prosecutors’ request to extend the detention of the soldiers until the end of proceedings.”