IDF suspends soldier who assaulted Palestinian, 2 others who failed to intervene

Military chief condemns soldier’s ‘excessive violence’; video shows conscript shoving man against wall; victim is PA security forces officer

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

An Israeli soldier is seen shoving a Palestinian man against a wall in the West Bank city of Hebron, October 23, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)
An Israeli soldier is seen shoving a Palestinian man against a wall in the West Bank city of Hebron, October 23, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)

The Israel Defense Forces on Monday suspended a soldier who assaulted a Palestinian man in Hebron the previous night, as well as an officer and another soldier who were there but did not intervene.

According to the IDF, an argument broke out between the soldier and the Palestinian at a checkpoint in the West Bank city.

The IDF said the soldier “used excessive violence against the Palestinian,” as the officer and the other soldier stood by.

Surveillance camera footage of the incident shows the soldier apparently searching the Palestinian man, as he pushes him against a wall violently.

The trio were suspended from combat duty by the commanding officer of the Givati Brigade’s Tzabar Battalion. The Military Police are investigating the incident, after which the Military Prosecution is to review the case.

Military chief Aviv Kohavi condemned the violence in a statement.

“This is a very serious incident that does not align with IDF values, its code of conduct, and the behavior expected from IDF soldiers and commanders,” Kohavi said.

The man was later identified as Munawar Jaber, an officer in the Palestinian Authority security forces.

In an interview with the Kan public broadcaster, Jaber said his son was detained along with another Palestinian near his home.

When Jaber asked the soldier why they were being arrested, he was assaulted, he told the network.

“He hit me with [his] gun on my arms and legs, slammed me against the wall and the floor twice, sat on me when I was on the ground,” Jaber was cited by Kan as saying.

“A senior officer arrived, and we told him we aren’t causing problems and that the army is causing problems. They handcuffed us and wanted to take us into custody but then they released us and told us to go home,” he added.

In August, three soldiers of the religious Netzah Yehuda battalion, part of the Kfir brigade, were suspended for beating two Palestinian detainees in the West Bank.

Soldiers from that battalion have previously been convicted of torturing and abusing Palestinian prisoners.

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