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Israel reprimands officer over beating of Palestinian

JERUSALEM: Israeli soldiers seen on video beating an unarmed Palestinian received punishment Sunday ranging from confinement to base to a verbal rebuke, the army said.

Footage of Friday’s incident, at Jelazoun refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, showed troops striking the Palestinian civilian with their fists and a rifle butt.

The beating was accompanied by shouted obscenities as the detainee lay helpless on the ground.

The army said that brigade commander Colonel Asher Ben Lulu, who disciplined the soldiers, concluded “that while the arrest was justified, the means were inappropriate.”

Two of the soldiers were punished with 28 days of “conditional imprisonment,” while two others were confined to their base for 30 days, the army said in a statement.

It said that the company commander was reprimanded.

The conduct of the soldiers “was inconsistent with the expected conduct of IDF soldiers when operating in crowd control situations,” the military statement cited Ben Lulu as concluding.

The army said the soldiers were responding to a violent demonstration lasting for “several hours” by as many as 70 Palestinians who were throwing stones at them, wounding the company commander.

During the demonstration, the Palestinian who was beaten had “attempted to grasp a soldier’s weapon,” the army said, which led to his apprehension. – AFP

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