A Muslim Arab serving in the Israel Defense Forces’ Desert Reconnaissance Battalion claimed Friday to have been beaten by Bedouin soldiers in his unit, the Ynet news site reported.
The unnamed soldier said he was on kitchen duty Friday morning when one of his commanders approached him, threatened him, and swore at him. About half an hour later he was allegedly attacked by five members of the unit.
The soldier was lightly injured and was taken to Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital to receive treatment.
The Desert Reconnaissance Battalion is comprised mostly of Bedouin soldiers who serve as scouts and trackers along Israel’s borders.
The solider in question had recently been sentenced to 20 days in military prison for absenteeism. His father told Ynet Friday that his son’s absences where due to his mistreatment by other soldiers, who bullied him over his ethnicity.
“I didn’t send my son to contribute, only for him to be kicked around like a soccer ball,” the father said.
The IDF said it was investigating the soldier’s claims, and a military police probe had been opened. It said it would show “zero tolerance” to violence between soldiers.
Earlier this week military prosecutors filed indictments at the IDF’s northern military court against two Jewish soldiers accused of beating a Druze member of their unit, breaking his nose and causing other injuries.
The incident nearly two weeks ago came to light after family members uploaded bloodied photos of the soldier on social media.
The two defendants were indicted on charges of aggravated assault and causing actual bodily harm to a fellow serviceman in their unit, the army said.