Two Israeli Military Policemen Charged With Groping, Robbing Palestinian Women at Checkpoint

Altogether the two allegedly robbed Palestinian women of about 1,600 shekels ■ Military public defenders say they were confident the 'case will end differently' than charges would indicate

FILE PHOTO: The West Bank checkpoint of Qalandiya
Emil Salman

Two Israeli military policemen were charged Sunday in military court with robbing and groping Palestinian women at a West Bank checkpoint over a period of six months.

The two policemen, whose names were not disclosed, were also charged with attempted robbery and with abuse of authority. They will be court-martialed in the Jaffa Military Court.

According to the indictment, the defendants were motivated by anti-Arab racism.

The charge sheet says the military policemen planned the robberies in advance, targeting older women who would be less likely than younger women to file a complaint. They would look for cash by X-raying the women’s belongings, taking 100 shekels ($27) each time in order not to attract attention.

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After stealing the money, the two would put the Palestinian women in a room at some distance from the crossing point –—where security cameras could not record their actions — and order them to strip.

When the women demanded to be checked by a woman rather than a man, one of the military policemen would leave the room and return a few minutes later, say that the female soldier on duty could not be located. The two would also touch the women’s bodies to reach sexual satisfaction, the indictment said.

Altogether the two allegedly robbed Palestinian women of about 1,600 shekels. They are also accused of attempted theft, including from two tourists.

They were reported by a police officer who noticed their actions.

Military public defenders representing one of the defendants said they were confident the “case will end differently” than the charges would indicate.