An Israeli military court has recommended that the prosecution and defence reach a plea deal in the case of five soldiers charged with the brutal assault of two Palestinian detainees.
According to the Jerusalem Post, while the court’s suggestion of “a deal through arbitration” will be “taken seriously”, the army “is likely to demand some amount of jail time as part of the deal as well”.
The soldiers’ defence team, however, may not agree to jail time, “in light of their initial claims that the indictment should never have been filed”.
The five soldiers, part of the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion, are suspected of having beaten a Palestinian father and son on 8 January with “fists and hard objects” while the pair were “handcuffed and blindfolded”. The soldiers were arrested two days later.
“According to the indictment, the defendants filmed themselves while they beat the Palestinians all over, including intimate parts of the body,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
“The accused are said to have removed the son’s blindfold and forced him to watch as his father was beaten,” the article added. “During the footage, one can hear cries of joy from the soldiers as the Palestinians are beaten and calling for help.”
According to the paper, it remains unclear whether all five soldiers would be treated the same, or whether the army prosecution “would demand more serious punishments for two of the soldiers indicted for obstruction of justice after they allegedly tried to coordinate presenting a similar false narrative of the incident.”