Palestinian jailed one month for "cursing" Israeli soldier
Published Friday, September 14, 2012
A young Palestinian from Hebron was held in Israeli jail for a month without any grounds, after a soldier wrongly believed he cursed him, an Israeli military judge ruled this week.
Israeli rights group B'Tselem said Abd al-Aziz Fakhouri was released on Wednesday after video evidence contradicted the army's account of his arrest.
After he was detained in Hebron's Old City on August 14, Israeli media aired a video showing Fakhouri violently dragged by Israeli soldiers in civilian clothes into a stairwell, with some kicking him.
The Israeli army said at the time the video did "not show the entire sequence of events."
"During a routine security check in Hebron, the Palestinian refused to identify himself. The Palestinian confronted the IDF force on the scene, which is not shown in the clip, and the soldiers in question, who chanced on the scene, aided the force in performing its mission," the army claimed.
B'Tselem found a second video of the scene, which shows Fakhouri speaking to his brother in Arabic when an Israeli soldiers accused him of cursing him.
Fakhouri protests he was not talking to the soldier, but is violently arrested.
After a month in jail, the military judge ruled that Fakhouri "was assaulted by a soldier ostensibly, dressed in civilian clothing, through no fault of his own, because he (the soldier) thought the respondent spoke ill of him."
"Much has been said of the boundaries of power and the limitations of power and this is a case of unreasonable use of power by soldiers in civilian clothing, while it is unclear whether they even had the authority to remove the respondent from the scene and to detain him," the ruling continued.