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Israeli soldiers indicted for brutality

April 6, 2009 at 2:42 PM

JAFFA, Israel, April 6 (UPI) -- An Israeli Army medic and his superior officer are facing charges they brutalized Palestinian detainees in the West Bank, prosecutors say.

Charges filed with the Jaffa Military Court allege the two, a staff sergeant serving as a medic and a lieutenant serving as a company commander, committed aggravated assault upon Palestinians detained for routine searches and questioning, Ynetnews.com reported.

Prosecutors say the incident occurred last September when, while on a military motorcade patrolling the West Bank, the medic struck a Palestinian who had been stopped for questioning with his helmet, kicked him in the abdomen and tore his shirt while the lieutenant -- his direct superior -- stood by and did nothing.

The indictment also alleges that the medic struck a second Palestinian and shoved a third to the ground, later pinning another detainee to a wall, choking and kicking him, Ynetnews reported.

The officer's attorney, Shimon Cohen, reportedly demanded his client be released from jail and provided a statement by the soldiers' brigade commander saying the case was hurting military morale.

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