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Six Soldiers Accused of Beating Palestinian Prisoners

July 2, 1991

JERUSALEM (AP) _ Six Israeli soldiers will face trial on charges of severely beating two Palestinian prisoners during interrogation in a West Bank prison last year, the daily Maariv said today.

The report was the third in two weeks saying Israeli soldiers would be tried for illegally beating or killing Palestinians in custody. The army confirmed it was investigating all three cases.

According to the Maariv report, the latest case involved beatings in the Dahariya prison during questioning of suspects by guards and interrogators in March 1990.

Maariv said three soldiers beat prisoner Amad Jamal Khalaila on the head and body with sticks while he was handcuffed. One soldier also was accused of kicking Khalaila in the head and groin and almost strangling him, the paper said.

The second victim, Mansour Shamasnah, was kicked in his stomach and groin and had his head slammed on the floor by one soldier as two others held him down, Maariv said.

The soldiers, all sergeants or first sergeants, are members of Israel’s Druse community.

A military source, who discussed the case on the basis of anonymity, said no wrongdoing had been proven.

The earlier two reports on expected charges said two army sergeants and a corporal would be tried on charges of beating Palestinians, and a lieutenant colonel and lieutenant would be charged with an illegal killing.

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