The IDF soldiers pleaded guilty to aggravated abuse as part of a plea bargain but avoided more serious assault charges.
By World Israel News Staff
Three IDF soldiers were convicted Thursday of abusing two Palestinian prisoners following a terrorist attack in December at Givat Assaf in Samaria. The soldiers had accepted a plea bargain with military prosecutors.
Under the terms of the agreement, the soldiers pleaded guilty to aggravated abuse in the incident and will receive 190 days in prison, a demotion in rank, and probation, but will avoid more serious assault charges.
The three soldiers were part of a group of five servicemen in the Kfir Brigade’s Netzah Yehuda Battalion who were arrested in January and charged with severely abusing two Palestinian suspects believed to have assisted the terrorist who had just murdered two of the soldiers’ comrades in a shooting attack at a bus stop.
The two Palestinians were a father and son.
According to the indictment, and reinforced by their own video, the soldiers beat the Palestinians all over, including in intimate parts of the body. The soldiers are said to have removed the son’s blindfold and forced him to watch as his father was beaten.
Defense attorneys reportedly said they were in possession of psychological evaluations of the mental health condition of their clients, who were under the strain of an exhausting series of operations in the immediate wake of the shooting attack that claimed the lives of two members of their unit.
In light of the sensitivity of the circumstances, the IDF Central District Court recommended that the prosecution and defense reach a plea bargain in the case.
Two other soldiers indicted in January have yet to reach similar plea agreements with military prosecutors, but the two sides were still working to negotiate one, a military official said.
The soldiers’ commanding officer, a lieutenant, was also charged last month with failing to prevent the assault, despite knowing that it was occurring.