An IDF combat soldier was indicted Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault against a Palestinian detainee under his care. The soldier is charged with injuring the Palestinian, who was handcuffed and blindfolded at the time.
The military prosecution is expected to file a second indictment against another soldier who was involved in the incident, which was first reported by Ynet in December. Both soldiers serve in the Givati Brigade.
It took brigade commanders and Military Police investigators over a month to determine the identity of the two soldiers who struck the detainee, who had been arrested earlier on suspicion of being involved in terrorism.
The detainee stated in his official complaint that two soldiers had grabbed him tightly and struck his head against a blunt object. The man, who was blindfolded, was unable to identify his assailants.
An investigation was launched following the complaint and military police questioned over a dozen soldiers who had been present at the time of the alleged incident. The soldiers refused to name the culprits, resulting in the indictment of one soldier and the arrest of several others.
According to the indictment, the soldier had spoken immediately prior to the incident of how difficult the country' situation was because of the Arabs and of how they, as soldiers, were forced to carry out numerous operations without returning home. He grew more and more enraged as he spoke and focused his anger on the Palestinian complainant, who was sitting on the floor at the time and then fell forward and was injured.
He later said he heard the soldiers laughing afterwards.
Despite the superficial nature of his injury, military prosecutors said the incident was very grave and
charged the soldier in question with aggravated assault – an offense which carries the maximum possible sentence of three years imprisonment.
The prosecution is expected to file a similar indictment against the second soldier implicated in the incident.