The State Attorney's Office has decided to close the case against Breaking the Silence spokesman Dean Issacharoff, who claimed he assaulted a Palestinian during his IDF service, citing lack of guilt.
The case against first lieutenant Issacharoff was opened following a video that was distributed on the Internet, in which Issacharoff described in a Breaking the Silence rally how, while serving as a combat officer, he repeatedly kneed a Palestinian detainee in the face and chest, causing him to "bleed and faint" without any operational justification.
His testimony was made to emphasize the IDF's brutality against Palestinian citizens in the "occupied territories," as Issacharoff and his group put it.
Following the video, the Military Advocate General's Office and the Attorney General were sent multitudes of requests demanding that a criminal investigation be opened against him.
The investigation into the incident found that Issacharoff claims "did not occur at all."
"There was no indication of the use of force, and the Palestinian claimed he was not beaten, not bruised, did not bleed, did not feel dizzy and did not pass out," the State Attorney's Office said.
In the course of the investigation Issacharoff was interrogated, messages were taken from his company commander at the time, Omri Seiner, and investigative materials were collected.
Evidence showed that the incident described by Issacharoff corresponds to only one incident in which Palestinian Hassan Giulani was arrested in February 2014 for throwing stones in a protest in Hebron.
In his interrogation, Issacharoff did not deny what he said at the rally, but backpedaled on his claim that there was no operational justification for his actions as Giulani was only passively resisting the arrest, stating instead that he "had to use force to stop him" and that it was not possible to handcuff Giulani without the use of force.
Giulani confirmed that he had been arrested after throwing stones at the soldiers, as described by Issacharoff. However, Giulani denied that his arrest was accompanied by any kind of violence on the part of the soldiers, Issacharoff included, except for the use of necessary force to handcuff him, which was required in view of his opposition to the handcuffing.
Giulani asserted that he had not been beaten nor bruised, did not bleed, was not dazed and did not fall unconscious at any time during the arrest.
The evidence showed that no complaint was filed by Giulani's about use of excessive force against him and there is no documentation of any injuries on his body that, if detected, are required to be recorded according to procedures.
In their decision to close the case, the State Attorney's Office noted that Giulani's version of the incident is consistent with the Seiner's version, who described the circumstances of the arrest in the same manner.
"All of the above clearly indicates that Issacharoff's version of Giuliani's beating until 'bleeding and fainting' is contradicted by Giuliani himself, by Issacharoff's commander, as well as by other investigative materials," the State Attorney's Office wrote.
"The evidence and the testimonies indicate that the allegation is false, and therefore it was decided to close the case that was opened against Issacharoff on suspicion of using harsh and unjustified violence on grounds of 'lack of guilt.'
"In conclusion, the evidence shows that Issacharoff chose to bolster his claim with the supposedly acceptable use of improper force, even though the alleged 'victim of the offense' did not see it as improper."
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who initiated the investigation against Issacharoff, responded to the court's ruling by slamming Issacharoff and Breaking the Silence for slandering the IDF and the state.
"It turns out that the spokesman for Breaking the Silence is a liar who internationally defames the State of Israel," Shaked said. "Well done to the soldiers in his company who were not indifferent and were unwilling to ignore his lies.
"It is good that the truth has come to light of this organization that is making money at the expense of IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens."
Breaking the Silence Executive Director Avner Gvaryahu responded to the State Prosecutor's announcement that the case against the organization's spokesman had been closed and said that "what began with the justice minister's political instruction became a political investigation and ended with a political and tendentious conclusion.
"State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan has become a political servant of the justice minister."
Gvaryahu added that "it is clear that if the issue had come to court, the truth would have come to light. Anyone who thinks that occupation can be carried out without violence is living in a fantasy."