IDF officer arrested on charges of violence

Posted: March 24, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in IDF, Palestinians

IDF soldiers in Hebron

IDF soldiers in Hebron

Ynet reports on an IDF officer recently arrest by the Military Police on charges of violence against members of Palestinian family:

The Investigating Military Police sought to keep the officer in jail, but over the weekend it was decided that he would remain outside his unit in an open prison (in confinement conditions). A decision on the legal proceedings against him was expected to be made on Tuesday.

The incident occurred about a week after Operation Cast Lead ended, while the officer’s unit was stationed in the Hebron area as part of routine security measures.

The event began when a clash broke out between settlers and Palestinians, and the IDF was forced to intervene, causing the incident to turn violent. The officer filed a complaint with the police against several Palestinians, and they filed complaints against him. The material was turned over to the Investigating Military Police, which decided to arrest the officer, who is a settlement resident.

Taysir Abu Aisha, the father of the girl who was allegedly assaulted, told Ynet about the incident: “My nephew and my sisters came over to visit us, and they are registered as people who are allowed to enter the area according to an IDF decision, as some of them are even registered as living in a house owned by my father. The moment they arrived, a female settler emerged and began pushing them away and cursing them.”

According to Abu Aisha, at this point the officer intervened and used violence against his daughter.

“My daughter Fidaa went out with her camera, and he beat her and her aunt and came into the house. In the house he beat my wife and took the camera. A UN monitors’ representatives saw the signs on my wife’s leg and photographed them. The officer warned the family members not to approach the area again or he would hit them.

The camera referred to in the report probably was one of the cameras given to Palestinian citizens of Hebron by Israeli Betzelem – an organization that fights IDF through the media and its reports (for example, up until a couple of years ago, Betzelem has been writing up Palestinian terrorists killed in battles with IDF as ‘civilians’). This, however, does not excuse the soldier.

I believe the soldier should be given the benefit of the doubt and his trial should be fair. However, if the officer is indeed guilty, he should definitely be imprisoned, as such actions by the IDF should not be allowed.

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