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190 days in prison for Israel soldiers who beat Palestinian detainees

An Israeli military court has sentenced three soldiers who assaulted Palestinian detainees to just 190 days in prison, after a plea deal had been agreed, reported Ynet.

The court gave the soldiers three months on probation, and a demotion to the rank of Private. The three will also be allowed to go home over the Passover holiday.

In addition, "it was agreed that the defendants could submit a request in two years for their criminal record to be expunged and the prosecution would not oppose."

The defendants pleaded guilty to the violent beating of a Palestinian father and son and, according to the terms of the plea bargain, "expressed remorse" for their actions.

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According to the Ynet report, the men "received relatively light sentences", despite the fact that one of the soldiers filmed the assault, "a fact which added a measure of severity to the indictment as it was intended to further humiliate the victims".

So-called mitigating factors that reduced the sentence including the defendants "taking responsibility" for their actions, a "good record" in training, and the fact that one of the soldiers "was in the midst of a personal crisis" at the time.

The men come from the same unit which had seen two soldiers shot dead by a Palestinian assailant in the occupied West Bank, and it was in the context of the hunt for those responsible for the shooting that the defendants violently attacked the Palestinian detainees.

The unit's commander testified on behalf of the soldiers, and asked the judge to be lenient. Meanwhile, "the trial of the direct commander of the defendants, a lieutenant officer, is ongoing", accused "of not interfering in the crime and negligence in allowing the incident to take place".

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