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Israeli army disciplines soldiers caught on film throwing sound bomb at Palestinians

Aug. 18, 2016 3:13 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 19, 2016 3:19 P.M.)
A screenshot of security camera footage showing an Israeli army jeep before soldiers threw a sound bomb at Palestinian youth.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Israeli army took disciplinary measures on Thursday against three soldiers who were caught on camera throwing a sound bomb at a group of Palestinian youths sitting peacefully three days earlier.

On Monday evening, a security camera recorded Israeli soldiers in a military jeep stop in front of a several Palestinian youth sitting on a sidewalk in the village of Kafr Laqif in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya -- and not in Ramallah as had initially been reported.

After several seconds, the military vehicle drives off, with one of its inhabitants throwing a sound bomb at the Palestinian youth, who can be seen running away trying to escape the explosion.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that an investigation into the behavior of the three soldiers -- one of whom was a platoon sergeant -- concluded on Thursday morning.

“The investigation revealed that the platoon sergeant acted contrary to IDF standards,” the spokesperson said, using the Israeli acronym for the army.

“The platoon sergeant and two additional soldiers present in the vehicle were sentenced in disciplinary proceedings by the battalion commander,” they added. “The platoon sergeant was sentenced to military jail.”

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that the platoon sergeant is serving 10 days in military prison, while the other two soldiers are confined to their base for seven days. 

The perpetrators of violence against Palestinian civilians and their property, including incidents involving Israeli military personnel, are rarely ever punished, with Israeli authorities closing most investigations without imposing any punitive measures on those involved, or only implementing light punishment.

Palestinians have pointed to the incident as one example of numerous instances in which Israeli soldiers abuse Palestinians with impunity, with some commenting on social media that the soldiers were just doing what they always like to do in the West Bank: have a bit of fun at the expense of Palestinians.

“They like to give us gifts. It can be tear gas, maybe a sound bomb, or some bullets next time. Who knows? It’s just for the soldiers to have a bit of fun,” one Palestinian commented on Facebook when the video came out.

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