Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

Israel army studies 'abuse video'


There is no information as to when or where the video was shot

The Israeli military is investigating a video in which a Palestinian detainee appears to be humiliated by a group of Israeli soldiers.

The video, broadcast by Israeli TV after being posted on YouTube, shows a blindfolded man kneeling near a barrier being forced to repeat Hebrew phrases.

Some refer to the elite Golani infantry brigade. Others are of a sexual nature.

In a statement to the BBC, the Israeli army said it considered the incident "grave", and condemned the behaviour.

"Investigative procedures were opened as soon as the footage was received" from Israeli Channel 10 TV on Thursday, it added.

Abuse 'the norm'

The video shows a bearded Palestinian detainee, blindfolded, and apparently kneeling close to a high concrete barrier.

Investigative procedures were opened as soon as the footage was received
Israeli army statement

Around him are a group of Israeli soldiers, some of whom are jeering. One soldier goads the blindfolded man into repeating what he is saying.

The taunt ends with the words: "Golani will bring you a log to stick up your ass."

As the man repeats it, the soldiers can be heard laughing loudly.

The BBC's Tim Franks in Jerusalem says we have no clue as to when or where this video was shot and it is impossible to know just how frequently such incidents occur.

But a leading Israeli human rights group says "many instances of abuse are not exposed because they have become the norm".

Palestinians themselves frequently complain that their contact with Israeli soldiers on occupied territory results in delays, insults and sometimes violence, our correspondent says.

The Israeli army insists though that behaviour of this type goes against the force's "core values and high standards".

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