3 Golani soldiers sentenced to jail for beating Palestinian man

IDF says trial of main suspect ongoing; two troops sent to prison for 60 days, third given 40 days and trio all demoted to private

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Illustrative: Golani Brigade soldiers during training in northern Israel, February 16, 2015. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: Golani Brigade soldiers during training in northern Israel, February 16, 2015. (Israel Defense Forces)

Three soldiers were convicted and handed jail sentences on Wednesday over their involvement in an incident where troops beat and later abandoned a Palestinian man in the West Bank last month, the Israel Defense Forces said.

According to an indictment filed at a military court earlier this month, four soldiers of the Golani Infantry Brigade took a Palestinian man into their military jeep during a routine patrol in the West Bank in late April, and brought him to a secluded place where he was then beaten and left with various wounds.

The four soldiers allegedly attempted to hide the incident from their superiors, and meanwhile coordinated their versions of the events before a Military Police probe was opened.

Two of the soldiers, who were convicted of abusing the Palestinian man, were sentenced to 60 days in military prison in a plea deal, the IDF said Wednesday.

The IDF said the third soldier was convicted of “exceeding authority to the point of risking life or health,” and was handed a 40-day jail sentence, also in a plea deal.

All three, who were additionally convicted of obstruction of justice, were also handed suspended sentences, and they were demoted to the rank of private.

The trial of the fourth soldier — the main suspect — who was accused of assault, abuse under aggravated circumstances, threats against the Palestinian victim, abuse of power, exceeding authority to the point of endangering life or health, obstruction of justice, and behavior unbecoming of a soldier, was still ongoing.

He was to remain held in custody until May 30, following a recent remand hearing.

Earlier this month, eight soldiers of the Golani Brigade were handed jail sentences for leaving their base to protest their four comrades being investigated by Military Police.

The names of the four soldiers were barred from publication by the military court.

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