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Israel military charges 5 soldiers with abusing Palestinians

The soldiers allegedly removed a suspect's blindfold and forced him to watch his father being beaten, according to a charge sheet.

JERUSALEM— Israeli military prosecutors charged five soldiers Thursday with badly beating two Palestinians in custody, reportedly breaking the nose and ribs of one suspect.

The military said that on Jan. 8, the soldiers "beat the Palestinians whilst slapping them, punching them and using blunt objects against them while they were handcuffed and blindfolded."

The newspaper Haaretz, quoting from the charge sheet, said the detainees were a father and son. It said the soldiers removed the son's blindfold and forced him to watch his father being beaten. The man suffered a broken nose and ribs and was hospitalized in serious condition, according to the report.

The father and son had been arrested on suspicion of assisting gunmen involved in a West Bank shooting that killed two Israeli soldiers in December.

An army statement said the soldiers face charges of "aggravated abuse and serious injury in aggravated circumstances." Military prosecutors have requested that the soldiers remain under arrest until the end of proceedings.