Israel opens probe into Palestinian beating video

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian protester during clashes following a protest against Jewish settlements, in Jalazoun refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Ramallah June 12, 2015. Reuters Photo

Seven Israeli soldiers were to face a disciplinary hearing on June 14 after video emerged of troops beating an unarmed Palestinian in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

In the footage, which was widely disseminated by Palestinian media, men in Israeli military uniform were seen repeatedly striking the Palestinian civilian, including with a rifle butt near the back of the head and a punch in the face.

The beating was accompanied by the chanting of obscenities as the detainee lay helpless on the ground.     

The army said seven soldiers were being investigated for possible disciplinary action over the alleged assault on June 12 in the Jalazoun refugee camp near Ramallah, headquarters of the Palestinian Authority.

"Those involved will be brought before the regiment commander... for clarification and questioning regarding the incident and, if needed, we will take significant steps against them," a spokesman said.

"Preliminary investigation gives the impression that their behaviour is not consistent with that expected of IDF (Israel Defence Forces) soldiers."   

The army said the soldiers were responding to a violent demonstration by as many as 70 Palestinians who were throwing stones at them.

But the Israeli military has come under repeated criticism for its heavyhanded response to the nearly 50-year-old occupation of the Palestinian territories.

According to the United Nations, Israeli soldiers have killed 11 Palestinians in the West Bank since the start of the year.

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