The Israel Defense Forces is reportedly investigating an incident in which soldiers allegedly placed improvised explosive devices inside a Palestinian village in the West Bank, a report said Wednesday.
Troops from the Nahal Brigade placed at least three explosive devices next to a road on the outskirts of Kafr Qaddum, where regular and often violent demonstrations are held against Israel’s military rule of the West Bank, the Haaretz daily reported last week.
The report said the devices were concealed using rocks, material and ammunition boxes, and left ready for detonation, so that touching them would cause them to explode.
Following that report, Haaretz said Wednesday that the military’s criminal investigation division launched an investigation into the incident on Monday, at the orders of the chief military advocate general, Sharon Afek.
An initial probe led by Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Alaluf, the commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, led officials to believe the soldiers had not received the necessary authorization and hadn’t reported their actions to their superiors, according to the report.
The explosive devices were placed near homes, with a sign in Hebrew placed nearby saying: “Stay away or you’ll die, mortal danger.”
— قناة الغد (@AlGhadTV) August 26, 2020
One of the devices was found by a 7-year-old boy, whose mother called in a family member who moved the box, the report said. The device exploded and caused him mild injuries in the face and hands.
Family members then found the second device and threw rocks at it, causing it to detonate. The third was neutralized by IDF sappers called in.
Attorney Michael Sfard has called on the IDF to “seriously investigate this severe incident, just like Israeli law enforcement authorities would have probed an incident in which Palestinians planted explosive devices near an Israeli community, and reach the highest-level officials involved in it.”
The IDF last week commented to Haaretz that stun grenades — not explosive devices — had been placed “in an open, uninhabited area, where violent riots have been held for several years.” It said they were placed for deterrence, and “after it was discovered that it could cause harm, the forces worked to remove them.”