Nahal Haredi soldiers charged with abuse
Four troops indicted after photos of them posing with bound, blindfolded Palestinian were found on their mobile phones
Hanan Greenberg • Ynet
The Military Advocacy filed an indictment Monday against four soldiers from a Nahal Haredi battalion for abuse and illegal use of weapons.
The four took pictures of themselves pointing their guns at a Palestinian in January near the West Bank city of Jenin, and were also accused of improper behavior.
According to the indictment, one of the soldiers held a blindfolded and bound Palestinian together with other troops. "He posed for a picture with him while pointing a loaded and cocked weapon at the upper part of his body. There was no point in directing the weapon at the detainee during the shot," the indictment said.
Ynet reported last week that the military advocate general said during the suspects' remand hearing that in weighing in on the arrest one should take into account the "moral blockade" Israel is under, and noted that "the severity of acts is tested within the context of our reality."
The military defender's office was outraged at the suggestions claiming that the soldiers do no belong in jail and that there are no grounds for an indictment.
Photos of ex-soldier Eden Abergil posing next to Palestinian detainees and the international response to the publication have caused the Israel Defense Forces to be extra-sensitive in handling acts which may prompt angry international response.
World opinion has caused the prosecution to go at full force against the haredi soldiers, who unlike Abergil were members of the IDF at the time the photos were revealed.
"We are being scrutinized at a time where we as an army and country are living under a type of moral blockade following the Goldstone Report and the Marmara affair. The severity of the acts is seen beyond their specific nature."
The statements caused a stir in the military defender's office and among the attorneys representing the soldiers. Captain Yuval Kagan said that "the cat is out of the bag" and protested the prosecution's wish to jail the soldiers for fear of European public opinion. The judge refrained from addressing the issue and ordered the suspects be remanded further in order to allow investigators to complete the investigation.