At the conclusion of an investigation lasting more than a year, the Military Advocate General has charged five soldiers from the Nahshon Battalion with three counts of aggravated assault.
Three of the soldiers have already been discharged from the army and one was transferred to another unit. Only one soldier remains in active duty in the battalion.
According to the indictment, the soldiers were responsible for transferring 13 Palestinian detainees from the Tulkarm Regional Brigade to an IDF military court in northern Israel in April 2006.
During the journey, the soldiers grabbed the prisoners by their hair, struck their chests and necks and demanded they repeat the number soldiers had previously assigned them with. When a prisoner would say the correct number, the soldiers would fall upon him in a beating frenzy.
The indictment also charges the soldiers with forced the prisoners to eat Bamba, an Israel snack food made of peanut butter. The soldiers reportedly ridiculed the prisoners while they ate. The soldiers also stopped along the way to buy French fries and force-fed them to the Palestinians.
When they arrived at the court, the soldiers had the blindfolded men walk in circles while warning them there were steps in front of them. The troops are also accused of cursing the men and their wives.
A military official involved in the handling of the case told Ynet that the army has ordered the accused soldiers be dealt with to the full extent of the law, even though much time has passed since the incident and some of the indicted troops no longer serve in the IDF.
"We view this incident with the utmost severity and this is how we intend to deal with the legal proceedings against the soldiers," said the IDF source.
The investigation into the incident began after a human rights group appealed to the army related information regarding the suspected abuse.