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The New Arab

Israel feigns punishment for soldiers in stun grenade attack

The three soldiers got away with a light slap on the wrist [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 August, 2016

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Three Israeli soldiers received a light slap on the wrist for throwing a stun grenade on seated Palestinian youths in the West Bank, while stone throwers receive harsh jail terms.

The Israeli army on Thursday gave three of its soldier a very light slap on the wrist after they were filmed throwing a stun grenade at a group of seated Palestinian youths in the occupied West Bank.

A video posted online Tuesday showed an Israeli army jeep pulling up next to the young men, sitting at the roadside and smoking a water pipe in the northern West Bank village of Kafr Laqif.

As the jeep pulls away a stun grenade is thrown at Palestinian men from the army vehicle, causing the youths to escape the explosion.

An army statement on Thursday referred to an investigation launched into an "incident in Kafr Laqif" but did not give details.

"The investigation revealed that the platoon sergeant acted contrary to Israel Defence Forces standards," it said.

"The platoon sergeant and two additional soldiers present in the vehicle were sentenced in disciplinary proceedings by the battalion commander. The platoon sergeant was sentenced to military jail."

A spokesperson later told AFP that the sergeant was jailed for 10 days and the other two soldiers were confined to their base for seven days.

The punishment received by the soldiers is surprising given that Israel's parliament passed a law in November to punish Palestinian stone throwers with a minimum of three years in jail.

The new legislation was backed by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who declared "war" in September on stone throwers.

The law also adds rocks to the list of "harmful tools" in the country's penal code.

Palestinians convicted would have their social security benefits cut off while in jail, as would the parents of minors convicted.

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