IDF suspends Haredi battalion troops over use of violence on Palestinians

Military chief calls incident 'severe,' says it contradicts IDF's values; adds Netzah Yehuda soldiers involved are not worthy of serving in a combat unit; Netzah Yehuda troops were involved in alleged mistreatment of Palestinians in the past

Yoav Zitun|Updated:
The IDF said Wednesday it has suspended four soldiers from the Haredi combat battalion, Netzah Yehuda, after footage had emerged showing troops beating two Palestinians.
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  • IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Aviv Kochavi condemned the actions of the troops, saying, "this is a severe incident that is repugnant and directly contradicts the values of the IDF. The soldiers involved in the incident are not worthy of serving in a combat unit."
    2 View gallery
    לוחמי כפיר תועדו תוקפים באלימות פלסטינים מערבית לרמאללה
    לוחמי כפיר תועדו תוקפים באלימות פלסטינים מערבית לרמאללה
    Image of Haredi Netzah Yehuda troops beating Palestinians
    (Photo: Social media)
    The incident apparently took place two weeks ago near a Palestinian village in the West Bank, north of Ramallah. The footage, however, began circulating on the TikTok social media app only a few days ago. Recording shows four soldiers from the Netzah Yehuda Battalion kicking and punching two Palestinians.
    Following the publication, the IDF opened an investigation into the incident, which had gone unreported by the soldiers.
    According to the account of troops, they identified a Palestinian driving in the opposite direction of the traffic and without a license plate. The soldiers ordered the vehicle to stop, but the driver speed up toward them, while the other passenger attempted to flee on foot.
    During the attempt to take control of the vehicle, the troops claimed one of the Palestinians tried to snatch the weapon from one of them, which prompted the soldiers to use excessive force to apprehend the suspect, including kicking and punching him.
    "After a preliminary investigation was presented to the Commanding Officer of the Central Command Major General Yehuda Fuchs, the soldiers involved were discharged from their positions in the battalion, as well as from combat positions in the Israel Defense Forces," a statement issued by Kochavi said.
    "The incident will be further investigated by the commanders and the military police. We will hold those involved to account. There is no place in the IDF for such behavior," Kochavi added.
    2 View gallery
    Haredi Netzah Yehuda troops
    Haredi Netzah Yehuda troops
    Haredi Netzah Yehuda troops
    The latest violent incident is not the first involving troops from the Netzah Yehuda Battalion . In the past year, a battalion combatant was dismissed after beating a detained Palestinian during operational activity and several other troops were convicted for abusing the man.
    The battalion was also involved in an incident that resulted in the death of 80-year-old Palestinian Omar Abdulmajeed Asad, which is still under investigation.
    The IDF finds it difficult to regulate the status of the Haredi battalion. During their service, the Netzah Yehuda soldiers are forced to stay only in the West Bank area, as opposed to other battalions that perform a rotation that includes the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and Syria borders.
    First published: 14:55, 08.24.22
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