The Jaffa Military Court sentenced two soldiers to five and a half and six and a half months in prison, respectively, for assaulting a restrained Palestinian.
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The Palestinian was arrested after crossing into Israel from the Gaza Strip. The court also ordered the soldiers be demoted to the rank of private.
The soldiers' assault of the Palestinian was revealed several months ago, as part of a different investigation conducted by military police, which uncovered a video in one of the soldiers' phones, documenting the assault.
According to the indictment, filed by the military prosecution, the Palestinian was arrested a day before the reported assault for infiltrating into Israel. He was placed in custody pending investigation. The next day, the indictment noted, the victim was beaten by four soldiers in a closed room in a Gaza adjacent camp.
The defendants had reportedly kicked the Palestinian several times until one of people in the room urged them to stop. The person who was taking the video ensured that the faces of those involved are not seen in the video.
According to the judges, "The fate of the Palestinian was at the hands of the Brigade's soldiers. He was handcuffed and helpless and the defendants took advantage of that in order to beat him."
The judges, who ratified a plea bargain, stressed that "due to the incident, the reputation of the IDF as a moral army was compromised."
Both defendants expressed remorse. One of them said he is "sorry for what happened. I was very young back them. It was really stupid if me. I'm very sorry for what happened."
The other defendant said he had "no backbone and was afraid of friend's response. I am grateful for the privilege of paying my dues and hope I will have the opportunity to explain to younger soldiers about the severity of my actions."
One of the defense attorneys added: "We do not take the severity of the offense lightly, but this is a minor incident in the past, which drew no complaints and there is no proof of any damage."
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