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Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Soldiers accused of abusing detainees

Sources in the IDF said Tuesday night that the disturbing allegations of soldiers' abuse of Palestinian detainees that were first reported Tuesday on Israel Radio were already under investigation by the Military Police, and that the IDF viewed the incident as "extremely serious" and "extremely unusual."

Israel Radio reported Tuesday morning that soldiers from the Kfir Brigade - which specializes in operating in West Bank urban centers - allegedly abused Palestinian detainees. According to the report, the soldiers beat, kicked and degraded the detainees, scenes that were reportedly documented on the soldiers' cellular phones. In one incident, the report claimed, one of the soldiers exposed himself to the detainees.

The soldiers in the report all belonged to the Duchifat Battalion, which operates under the auspices of the Binyamin Regional Brigade.

One IDF source familiar with the incident said that the case was already under investigation by military police, and that all the troops suspected of involvement in the alleged abuses had been removed from operational duties. Should the soldiers be found guilty, the source emphasized, they will be sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. More