Reservists charged with abusing Gazan detainees, incriminating videos found

Staff at an IDF detention center in southern Israel noticed suspicious marks on the bodies of certain detainees, prompting three arrests; Criminal division investigators have uncovered a video of one of them beating a cuffed detainee

The Military Advocate General's Office is preparing to file an indictment in the coming days against a reservist soldier for abusing Gazan detainees during their transfer from a security interrogation facility to the detention facility at Sde Teiman, north of Be'er Sheva, the public broadcaster Kan 11 first reported Monday.
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 עצירים מרצועת עזה במחנה שדה תימן
 עצירים מרצועת עזה במחנה שדה תימן
Detainees in Sde Teiman
( Photo: CNN )
About a month ago, commanders at the detention facility noticed signs of violence and injuries on the bodies of detainees from Gaza after they were returned to the facility. They involved the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division (MPCID), which opened an investigation. Three soldiers were arrested; two were released after about two weeks, while the third has been in custody for more than a month. He admitted to some of the violent incidents he is suspected of.
MPCID investigators found videos filmed by the soldier, in which he is seen beating detainees while they are handcuffed on a bus, using his fists and his weapon. The investigation is in its final stages, and it appears that the Military Advocate General's Office will file an indictment against the main suspect.
"Following reports from commanders of suspected harm to detainees, an investigation was opened by the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division against the suspect and others on suspicion of aggravated abuse of detainees under their responsibility, during their transfer to the detention facility at Sde Teiman," the IDF said in a statement.
"The Military Court has extended the suspect's detention from time to time for investigative purposes. Today, the suspect's detention was extended again for additional investigative actions, until Thursday, after it was found that he linked himself to the incident as well as to several other incidents, and therefore grounds for detention justifying his detention exist," according to the IDF.
The Sde Teiman camp serves as a military base in routine times, but since the outbreak of the war it also functions as a temporary detention camp for Gazans suspected of being terrorists. Starting from October 7, many Palestinian suspects have been transferred there and held until a decision is made about them by the security system. If the suspects are incriminated, they are transferred to a prison under the Israel Prison Service, and if cleared of suspicion, they are released back to the Gaza Strip. However, as the war has progressed, more and more detainees remained in the facility for longer than originally planned.
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ישיבת ממשלה
ישיבת ממשלה
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara
(Photo: Gil Cohen-Magen/Pool Photo via AP)
At the beginning of June, CNN published a comprehensive investigation on the subject, which caused a stir around the world and prompted widespread condemnation and coverage by many media outlets. The investigation, based on "Israeli whistleblowers," described how detainees held in a "secret detention facility in the Negev" experience daily abuse by Israeli soldiers. The headline stated that the detainees are "stripped, blindfolded and wearing diapers."
Following the investigation, human rights organizations in Israel filed a petition to the High Court of Justice demanding to ease the conditions of the detainees in the camp. "Even suspects of the worst acts of terrorism deserve detention at a minimal humane level," they argued. Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara following the petition, sent an official letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, stating that "if the detention facility does not return to its intended purpose in the immediate term, it could have significant broad implications."
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