Israeli Army to Indict Five Soldiers Who Beat Detained Palestinians 'Out of Revenge'

Four combat soldiers were interrogated on suspicion they attacked Palestinian detainees, causing them severe injuries; one of the injured was pummeled so severely he couldn't provide his account of the incident immediately afterwards

Illustration: An IDF drill during which soldiers 'detain' Palestinians, 2008.
Tess Scheflan

The Israeli military's prosecution announced Sunday that it would file criminal charges against five soldiers who are suspected of beating two Palestinian detainees whom they had arrested

The detainees, who were assaulted while handcuffed and blindfolded, suffered severe injuries. 

One of the detainees was so badly pummeled that he could not be immediately questioned following the incident and required medical care.

The combat soldiers were arrested ten days ago and a probe was launched into the incident. The military court has ordered that they remain in detention. Following the filing of indictments, the prosecution is expected to ask that they be held until the end of legal proceedings. 

The soldiers were interrogated on suspicion that they abused the Palestinian detainees. Possible charges include aggravated assault and some of the suspecs are thought to have attempted to obstruct interrogations. 

An Israeli army first lieutenant who was the soldiers' commander has also been arrested and a court hearing on his possible involvement is expected to be held later Sunday. 

The military police are investigating whether the soldiers were motivated by revenge following the shooting attack at Givat Assaf last month in which two soldiers from their battalion were killed

In November, military prosecutors charged a soldier from the Home Front Command’s rescue unit with assaulting a blindfolded, handcuffed Palestinian detainee. In September, a Palestinian died after allegedly being beaten by the Israeli military, according to testimony, although the army denied the claim.