IDF soldier in custody over alleged abuse of Palestinian civilian

Military tribunal remands suspect after allegations of assault and theft during a military operation outside Jericho earlier in the year; Defense attorney says his client can prove he was not present at the alleged incident

Yoav Zitun, Elisha Ben-Kimon|
An IDF soldier is in custody after he was arrested last week on inspection of abusing a Palestinian civilian and then robbing him during a military operation earlier this year in a village near Jericho. A military tribunal remanded him to custody but issued a gag order to protect his identity.
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According to a complaint filed with the court, the soldier and another member of the force operating in the village, assaulted the Palestinian causing him injuries, and forcibly took his money and mobile phone. At present, the second soldier involved has not been arrested or charged. Despite the alleged incident being captured on camera, The suspect denies the accusations leveled against him.
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חייל סמל ראשון אילוסטרציה
חייל סמל ראשון אילוסטרציה
Soldier under investigation for abuse
(Photo: IDF website)
The soldiers were alleged to have stopped a car carrying the Palestinian along with two women and another man near Jericho. They forcibly removed their alleged victim from the vehicle, conducted a body search, stripped him of his clothing, took photographs, and subjected him to verbal abuse. Subsequently, according to the allegations, they proceeded to physically assault him.
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כוחות צה"ל ביריחו
כוחות צה"ל ביריחו
IDF forces outside the West Bank city of Jericho last May
(Photo: Reuters)
In the ruling to remand him to custody, the military judge said there was a reasonable foundation for the suspicions while acknowledging shortcomings in the investigative evidence. Defense lawyer Adv. Hai Haver said his client was innocent. "Not only was the veracity of the complaint completely disregarded, but investigators neglected to verify my client's alibi, proving that during the relevant period, he was present at the base and not engaged in any operational activity."
The military said the incident was currently under investigation.
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