IDF soldier accused of electrocuting Palestinian detainee
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IDF soldier accused of electrocuting Palestinian detainee

Five servicemen to face abuse charges for allegedly torturing suspects in the West Bank

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: Israeli security forces arrest and blindfold a Palestinian man during clashes in the village of Beit Omar, near the city of Hebron in the West Bank, on October 11, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader)
Illustrative: Israeli security forces arrest and blindfold a Palestinian man during clashes in the village of Beit Omar, near the city of Hebron in the West Bank, on October 11, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader)

A combat soldier from the IDF’s ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion was indicted at the Jaffa Military Court on Sunday for abuse under aggravated circumstances, after he allegedly electrocuted Palestinian suspects on two separate occasions last month.

Four other soldiers involved in similar incidents were indicted for abuse on Thursday.

According to prosecutors, after arresting a Palestinian suspect near the West Bank city of Jenin on October 7, several soldiers blindfolded, handcuffed and beat the prisoner. Then one soldier, identified as “R,” attached electrodes to the man’s neck and electrocuted him.

When the detainee pleaded with him to stop, he increased the voltage, according to the indictment, which was cited by Haaretz.

Several days later, “R” did the same thing to another Palestinian man arrested by hos unit in the West Bank village of Attil outside Tulkarem. The prisoner was blindfolded, handcuffed and beaten before the soldier electrocuted him using electrodes attached to his temples, the indictment said.

A medical device was used on the prisoner in both of the incidents, Haaretz reported.

One of the incidents was filmed on a cellphone by one of the soldiers who has been accused in other cases of alleged torture.

The judge on Sunday remanded all five soldiers in custody until the conclusion of legal proceedings against them.

Last week, a spokesperson for Honenu, a far-right advocacy group that is providing legal counsel to the soldiers, called the case “way overblown,” and accused the military prosecution of “abusing” the suspects.

“The only abuse here is of the IDF fighters,” the group said, according to the Maariv website. “Those who are responsible for this abuse are the officials at the Military Prosecutor’s Office, and the Military Police, who are apparently influenced by extreme left-wing organizations.”

Two other soldiers who were initially arrested in connection with the incidents were released last week, after investigators determined they had not taken part in the suspected beatings.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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