Soldier charged for allegedly beating and abandoning Palestinian man in West Bank

Indictment against Golani serviceman says he and fellow troops took victim to secluded area, assaulted and threatened him, before leaving and trying to hide incident from superiors

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

Illustrative: Golani Brigade soldiers during training in northern Israel, April 17, 2014. (Israel Defense Forces/File)
Illustrative: Golani Brigade soldiers during training in northern Israel, April 17, 2014. (Israel Defense Forces/File)

An Israeli soldier was charged on Monday with assault and a series of other offenses for beating up a Palestinian man in the West Bank last month along with three other troops of the Golani Infantry Brigade.

According to the indictment filed against the soldier at a military court, the four soldiers 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.

The indictment said the man was also assaulted during the drive to the secluded place.

“Violence was used against the victim… including violence with a weapon, and threats were made against him, including threats with a weapon,” the Israel Defense Forces said.

The Palestinian man was left by the soldiers in the secluded area, while suffering from various wounds, the indictment said.

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 on April 24.

The soldier indicted Monday was charged with assault, abuse under aggravated circumstances, and threats against the Palestinian victim. Additionally, he was hit with charges of abuse of power, exceeding authority to the point of endangering life or health, several offenses of obstruction of justice, and behavior unbecoming of a soldier.

The soldier will remain held until May 11, when an additional hearing is set.

The other three soldiers were also expected to face indictments, pending a hearing.

The exact wording of the indictments against the three was to be decided following the hearing, which was requested by the suspects’ attorneys.

Two of the soldiers were to remain held in a military prison, while the third was being held at his army base.

Last week, eight soldiers of the Golani Brigade were handed jail sentences for leaving their base without permission, in protest of their four comrades who were being investigated by Military Police.

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

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