Negative Contexts

Incidents involving the Kfir Brigade in the past three years.

According to the IDF Spokesman, the Kfir Brigade carried out half the arrests in the West Bank in the past few years. The brigade has also prevented no small number of terrorist attacks and has seized weapons at checkpoints and in searches. However, it has been mentioned more often in negative contexts in the media. Following are a few examples from the past three years:

* In July 2007, soldiers from the Lavi Battalion abducted a Palestinian bus driver. Although they had no authorization from the sector commander, they planned to carry out an undercover action. But the plan went awry and the soldiers ended up shooting an innocent Palestinian, and left him bleeding on the ground.

* According to a report in November 2007, a number of soldiers from the brigade beat and abused bound Palestinians in the brigade's base in Samaria.

* In January 2008, brigade officers uncovered an incident in which soldiers from the Duchifat Battalion had abused Palestinians who were not suspected of any wrongdoing and documented their actions with their mobile phones. A media report in the same month described a case in which three soldiers from the Haruv Battalion beat Palestinian detainees and held a heat blower to the face of one of them. In the Hebron sector, Kfir soldiers were filmed baring their bottoms to Palestinians and internationals.

Kfir Brigade
Yuval Tebol

* According to a report in August 2008, four soldiers from the Haruv Battalion were convicted of attacking a Palestinian from the village of Al-Khader. They hit him, handcuffed him, threw him down by the roadside and fled.

* In September 2008, during operational activity in Kafr Qaddum, Lieutenant Adam Malul and First Sergeant Eviatar Gedassi from the Kfir Brigade beat a Palestinian they had detained for interrogation. Testifying in a military court, Colonel Itai Virob, the brigade's commander at the time, stated that there are situations in which the use of force against Palestinians is permissible: "A slap or sometimes a blow to the back of the neck in order to calm them is reasonable. We will burst into a thousand homes to remove one Kalashnikov rifle. Is there a chart that says what is permissible and what is forbidden? No, and it's impossible for there to be one." A month later, a soldier from the Haruv Battalion hit a Haaretz photographer, Tess Scheflan.

* In April 2009, a Palestinian complained that he had been subjected to a series of humiliating acts and violence by a soldier from the Kfir Brigade over the course of a month. The episode came to light during a debriefing carried out by an officer from the brigade in the wake of a controversial shooting incident.

* More recently, the brigade's name came up in connection with a morning run by soldiers from the Shimshon Battalion. They mistakenly entered a Palestinian neighborhood and were attacked by a mob. Last March, two demonstrators were shot and killed during a demonstration in the village of Arak Burin. The Kfir soldiers claimed they had not used live fire, but X-rays of one of the dead showed that his death was caused by a live bullet.