The Jerusalem District Court has sentenced four former Israeli soldiers to only four months of community service after they were indicted for abusing a disabled Palestinian detainee in 2009, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said on Tuesday.
The newspaper said that the indictment was filed against the former soldiers when a video documenting the incident was submitted to the Internal Affairs Division at the Israeli Justice Ministry. The footage helped investigators from the human rights group B’Tselem track down the victim, whose identity was not known up until that point.
The video shows that the soldiers detained a 27 year old Palestinian and put him in their police jeep. When he was unable to present an identification card on request, the soldiers threatened they would set their dog on him.
At this point the Palestinian began to weep, and one soldier hit him in the stomach while another poured water over him.
Israel’s state representative at the trial, attorney Ronen Yitzhak, asked the court to sentence the officers to 3-5 years stressing their cruelty and the damage caused to Israel’s image. The defendants’ lawyers claimed the incident was brief and that the violence was not severe.
Attorney Moshe Oren, who represented one of the defendants, said the sentence was “reasonable.”