Israeli troops face abuse trial
The Israeli military has said it will try by court martial a number of soldiers in connection with the abuse of a blindfolded Palestinian man.
The video, broadcast by Israeli TV after being posted on YouTube, shows the man kneeling near a barrier being forced to repeat crude Hebrew phrases. The military has condemned the behaviour, which it says goes against its core values and high standards. Palestinians say contact with troops lead to insults and sometimes violence. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) launched an inquiry into the incident after it was broadcast last Thursday evening. "The inquiry regarding the issue is in its final stages, and it has been found that the event occurred 15 months ago in the area of the Gaza Strip," said an IDF statement, quoted by AFP news agency.
Laughing and jeering The video shows a bearded Palestinian detainee, blindfolded, and apparently kneeling close to a high concrete barrier. He is seen repeating phases, some of which refer to the elite Golani infantry brigade. Others are of a sexual nature. Around him are a group of Israeli soldiers, some of whom are jeering. One soldier goads the blindfolded man into repeating what he is saying. The taunt ends with the words: "Golani will bring you a log to stick up your ass." As the man repeats it, the soldiers can be heard laughing loudly.
The BBC's Tim Franks in Jerusalem says it is impossible to know just how frequently such incidents occur.
But a leading Israeli human rights group says "many instances of abuse are not exposed because they have become the norm".