Unreasonable question posed to detained Nahal Hareidi soldier

Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 20:11 The investigatory material in the case of the four Nahal Hareidi Netzah Yehuda Regiment soldiers detained in mid-October 2015 and accused of hitting terrorists reveals a controversial viewpoint held by the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division (MPCID) investigators, and a particularly outrageous question posed by them. On October 29 Honenu reported that the MPCID gave an order to search for “right-wing expressions” in the cellular phones belonging to the soldiers. Later it turned out that one of the soldiers was asked if he was “a member of an anti-Palestinian organization”. The soldier responded in the negative.
“This question indicates that in effect either the guidelines of the MPCID or their world view places a ‘right-wing’ soldier, if there is such a thing, at risk of discriminatory treatment. When an IDF soldier without a criminal record stands opposite an interrogator there is absolutely no reason for such a question to be posed. There is a misconception held by the MPCID which is reflected not only in outrageous questions or in a search for ‘right-wing expressions’ on a cell phone, but rather also by accepting the testimony of an interrogated terrorist as absolute truth and not posing any questions to him or disputing his version of the events, despite the fact that it contradicts the testimonies of the [detained] soldiers, and also the testimonies of the rest of of the witnesses for the prosecution, soldiers who are not suspected of anything. Throughout the entire investigation there have been many serious oversights which were not accidental and did violate the rights of the soldiers and their ability to prove their innocence.”
Honenu Attorney Chai Haber added that this viewpoint explains the severe attitude of the military authorities towards the soldiers. “It is definitely logical that the IDF would put a soldier on trial for deviating from the regulations, but the question is, how do the military authorities conduct themselves with the soldiers? How do they determine that a soldier who gave a ‘smack’ to a terrorist is dangerous to the public and must remain behind bars? Why did they exaggerate this incident and accuse the soldiers of the crime “aggravated abuse” when there is no evidence of abuse in the indictment?”
“We found a book by Hitler in the possession of the terrorist”
In another incident in the same case a soldier hit a detained terrorist in whose possession a book by Hitler was found at the time of his detention. According to the testimony of the soldiers and military documents in the investigatory case, the terrorist who was hit was the most senior of the 14 wanted terrorists who were detained on that same night: “He was classified as ‘sensitive’ and having easy access to weapons and explosives.” The terrorist was also “the most important objective among the detentions that same night.”
According to the detained soldier, when he walked down a corridor in the base he noticed the terrorist, handcuffed and shouting in Arabic. The soldier passed the terrorist but did nothing, until he returned several minutes later and saw that the terrorist was still shouting and screaming. Then the soldier hit the terrorist once.
“I was still tense from the previous night’s work. We had been in his [the terrorist’s] house and found a book written by Hitler. It was horrific. I would not have hit someone for no reason. I smacked him, once, because of his shouting and everything that had happened with him,” explained the soldier during interrogation.
Honenu Attorney Aharon Roza, who is representing the soldier, stated that, “The incident attributed to the soldier, which he does regret, and to the error of which he immediately admitted during interrogation, is hitting a terrorist once during a momentary lapse of reason, and that was after passing the terrorist once and not hitting him. Only when the soldier passed the terrorist a second time and he was still shouting at the top of his lungs did the soldier hit him in the stomach which was an act that cannot be considered so dangerous as to classify the acts of the soldier as being generally dangerous, militarily dangerous, and violating military discipline. Those categories could be used to justify the detention of a combat soldier whose service until then had been impeccable.
“It is also improper to ignore the fact that the anomalous momentary loss of reason in his military service occurred with a terrorist in whose house evidence bearing serious ramifications was confiscated, including a book by Hitler. According to the investigatory material, including the weapon and security violations attributed to this terrorist, he is the most dangerous out of all of the wanted terrorists detained that night.”

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