Israel punishes troops who appeared to attack Palestinians
Following the release of a video that apparently shows three IDF soldiers hurling a stun grenade at Palestinian men and driving off, the military has said that it disciplined the soldiers involved; reportedly, a platoon sergeant was sent to jail for 10 days and two other soldiers were also disciplined for acting 'contrary to military standards.'
The Israeli military said Thursday it has disciplined three soldiers after a video emerged that seemed to show them hurling a stun grenade at Palestinian men smoking a water pipe in the northern West Bank.
In the video, captured by a surveillance camera, an Israeli military jeep pulls up to the four Palestinians, stops briefly, then drives away as a stun grenade explodes in the frame, sending the Palestinians fleeing. The military said a platoon sergeant was sent to jail for 10 days and two other soldiers were also disciplined for acting "contrary to military standards."
The video was the latest footage filmed during a recent wave of violence that has been widely circulated in both Israeli and Palestinian media.
Since mid-September, Palestinians have killed 34 Israelis and two visiting Americans in stabbing and shooting attacks, as well as attack in which cars were used to ram into Israeli troops and civilians. At least 206 Palestinians have died by Israeli fire in that period, most said by Israel to be attackers. The attacks have tapered off in recent weeks.
Palestinians have accused Israelis of using excessive force against assailants who have already been wounded or stopped, and quickly circulate videos which they say back up their claims.
The Israeli watchdog group Yesh Din said that between 2010 and 2013, only 1.4 percent of Palestinian complaints led to indictments against soldiers. The military insists its justice system works, saying the low indictment rate does not signal lack of effort. They say the system is independent and that proper measures are taken if there are legal grounds to try and punish a soldier.