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2 IDF soldiers jailed for burning Palestinian flag

Troops confiscate flag from passing vehicle, burn it in front of hundreds of Palestinians at checkpoint

Soldiers patrolling near Nablus in 2014. ( IDF Spokesperson/FLASH90)
Soldiers patrolling near Nablus in 2014. ( IDF Spokesperson/FLASH90)

Two IDF soldiers were jailed by their commanders on Wednesday after they confiscated a Palestinian flag from a vehicle passing through an IDF checkpoint and burned it.

An army spokesman confirmed the incident, which took place Wednesday morning at the Hawara checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus, after Palestinian media reported on it.

The Palestinian news site Ma’an quoted a Palestinian security source who said that a number of Israeli soldiers burned the flag in a provocative spectacle.

Hundreds of Palestinians were crossing the checkpoint while the flag burned, Palestinians reported.

According to the Ma’an report, Palestinian officials lodged a formal complaint with Israeli authorities, who promised to take action against the soldiers who burned the flag.

“The commanding officers are aware of the incident, and it will be investigated,” an IDF spokesperson said, confirming that “from an initial investigation, this appears to be an irregular incident in which troops acted against what is expected of them, and against the orders of their officers.”

“It will be dealt with via disciplinary measures,” the IDF said.

Within hours, the army announced that the commander of the soldier who set the flag ablaze was sentenced to 20 days in jail, while the soldier who did the torching was confined to his base for 28 days.

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