The Jaffa Military Court on Tuesday sentenced a combat soldier from the IDF’s ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion to nine months in prison for torturing Palestinian suspects by electric shock on two separate occasions last year.
The soldier, who was found guilty of abuse under aggravated circumstances by the same court, was also handed a six-month suspended sentence and demoted to the rank of private, Army Radio reported.
According to military prosecutors, after arresting a Palestinian suspect near the West Bank city of Jenin last October, several Netzah Yehuda soldiers blindfolded, handcuffed and beat him. Then, one of them attached electrodes to the man’s neck and shocked him.
When the detainee pleaded with him to stop, he increased the voltage, according to the indictment.
Several days later, the soldier did the same thing to another Palestinian man arrested by his unit in the West Bank village of Attil outside Tulkarem. The prisoner was blindfolded, handcuffed and beaten before the soldier shocked him using electrodes attached to his temples, the indictment said.
In addition to the soldier sentenced on Tuesday, three other soldiers were arrested in October in connection with the incidents, including one who was said to have filmed the incidents on his cellphone.
Last week, the Jaffa Military Court sentenced one of them to seven months in prison for participating in the torture the judges called “humiliating, degrading and cruel.” The soldier, who confessed and expressed remorse, was demoted to the rank of private.
The other two were released shortly after their arrest as investigators determined they had not taken part in the torturing.
According to a report in Ynet, the judges noted the violence against the Palestinian prisoners did not occur out of anger, but “was violence for its own sake.”
A spokesperson for Honenu, a far-right advocacy group that is providing legal counsel to the soldiers, previously called the case against his clients “way overblown,” and accused the military prosecution of “abusing” the suspects.