Seven soldiers arrested for beating terrorists

At least a dozen soldiers have been questioned or arrested after claims of 'excessive force' by terrorists and far-left NGOs.

Ido Ben-Porat , | updated: 3:04 PM

IDF soldiers
IDF soldiers
Flash 90

Legal rights campaigners are up in arms over a string of arrests and interrogations of IDF soldiers after allegations made by terrorists and far-left NGOs of "excessive force."

Over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday, five soldiers from the Shaked Brigade of the Givati infantry battalion were questioned over allegations that they had used undue force against Arab rock-throwers in the El-Bireh area, close to Bet El in Samaria.

The five were eventually released after it was determined that they had in fact used reasonable force given the circumstances.

But attorney Adi Kedar of the Honenu legal aid group, who represented the accused soldiers, had harsh words for their treatment nonetheless.

"Specifically during these days we are witnessing a wave of arrests of IDF soldiers at the hands of the military police, under suspicion that they used force against terrorists. We are talking about a scandal," he said.

"Why are the military authorities saying "amen" to the versions of events presented by terrorists or far-left organizations, instead of supporting the soldiers of the IDF?"

El-Bireh and the surrounding area, close to Ramallah, have been the scene of several clashes between Arab rioters and Israeli security forces, including a now-famous incident in which undercover Israeli officers were filmed dispersing rioters with the help of uniformed IDF soldiers:

Earlier Wednesday, it was announced that seven soldiers from the Nahal Haredi-Netzach Yehuda battalion were arrested over the past week, on charges of beating two or three terrorists. 

Three soldiers were arrested in one incident, wherein a terrorist arrested during a bust in Jenin was taken to the restroom and refused to leave. According to a military investigation into the incident, the soldiers used undue force to remove him from the facilities. 

The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) also said the three are guilty of causing injuries to the terrorist's face, even though there is uncontested evidence that the terrorist banged his head against the wall and floor several times before he was formally detained - and, indeed, before the incident under investigation. 

The soldiers claim they were told the incident would be resolved within the unit and thus cooperated with the investigation, but despite this, arrests were made after a complaint was filed to the Military Police. 

Four other soldiers from the unit were arrested in similar incidents. 

Five soldiers are represented by attorneys Aaron Rosa, Hai Habar and Avi Pinarski from legal rights group Honenu, and on Thursday the military prosecutor's office will file charges against all seven men and ask for the extension of detention until the end of proceedings against them.

"This is an investigation that began when a terrorist who was arrested by security forces decided to falsely accuse a group of fighters of beating him as he sat under arrest," Habar stated to the press. "As can be seen so far it appears that the terrorist caused his own injuries, as affirmed by many witnesses, and not the suspects." 

"This serious incident is inconsistent with the expectations for IDF soldiers," the IDF Spokesperson's office stated in response. "The event was investigated by the brigade commander and is currently under a CID investigation."