Israeli military charges five soldiers with abusing Palestinian father and son in custody

Israeli military charges five soldiers with abusing Palestinian father and son in custody
Five Israeli soldier have been charged over an incident in which a Palestinian man reportedly had his ribs and nose broken while his son was forced to watch.
2 min read
01 February, 2019

Israeli military prosecutors charged five soldiers on Thursday with brutally beating a Palestinian father and his son in custody, reportedly breaking the nose and ribs of the older detainee.

The military said that on January 8, the soldiers "beat the Palestinians whilst slapping them, punching them and using blunt objects against them while they were handcuffed and blindfolded."

Israeli newspaper Haaretz, quoting from the charge sheet, said the detainees were a father and son. It said the soldiers removed the son's blindfold and forced him to watch his father being beaten. The man suffered a broken nose and ribs and was hospitalised in serious condition, according to the report.

The father and son had been arrested on suspicion of assisting gunmen involved in a West Bank shooting that killed two Israeli soldiers in December.

An army statement said the soldiers face charges of "aggravated abuse and serious injury in aggravated circumstances." Military prosecutors have requested that the soldiers remain under arrest until the end of proceedings.

Israel soldiers have long been accused of using excessive violence against the thousands of Palestinians it arrests each year in the occupied West Bank and along the Gaza Strip.

Around 95 percent of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces say they were subjected to physical and mental abuse, according to testimonies from prisoners.

In February last year, Yassin al-Saradeeh was killed after being beaten by Israeli soldiers during his arrest in the occupied West Bank city of Jericho. In September, 24-year-old Mohammed al-Rimawi died of wounds his family say were sustained from a beating by Israeli forces.

Around 6,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in 18 Israeli jails and detention centres.

More than 40 percent of the Palestinian male population have been detained at some point by Israeli military forces since the year 2000, rights groups say.