Three IDF soldiers arrested for abusing Palestinians
By Amos Harel, Ha'aretz Correspondent
Military police arrested three IDF soldiers on suspicion of abusing Palestinians in an area south of
the West Bank city of Hebron. This is the first time soldiers have been arrested for crimes in the
territories since the Intifada began 10 months ago.
Four residents of the village of Samoa complained to the ‘B’Tselem’ human rights organization that
they had been abused in an incident that occurred 10 days ago.
The Palestinians reported that the soldiers had severely beaten them and also forced them to hit
each other. The soldiers also damaged two cars the Palestinians had been travelling in.
The Shimshon battalion, to which the soldiers belong, held an internal investigation under the
battalion commander, which confirmed some accusations made by the Palestinians. The case was then
turned over to the military police.
The IDF commander in the West Bank, Brigadier Jerry Yitzhak, said Wednesday in an interview on
Israel Radio that he believed incidents of abuse by soldiers were "marginal" in relation to the
extent of IDF activity in the territories. He added that the IDF had increased its educational
activities with soldiers in order to try prevent these kinds of incidents.
Military sources told Ha'aretz that the incidents that have been uncovered recently were a source of
great concern for the central command and the general staff. They are concerned that units that
serve continuously in the territories are more prone to being worn down due to the confrontation,
which could lead to violent behavior towards the Palestinians.