Israeli Military Says Troops Tied a Wounded Palestinian to a Vehicle


Israeli troops tied a wounded Palestinian to the top of a military vehicle on Saturday morning during an operation in the occupied West Bank, a scene that was captured on video and quickly went viral, prompting outrage and the promise of an investigation by Israel’s military.

Israeli soldiers raided Wadi Burqin, a Palestinian town on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Jenin, on Saturday morning to arrest Palestinians suspected of involvement in militant groups. Jenin, a longtime stronghold for loosely organized armed groups, has experienced repeated crackdowns by the Israeli military over the past few months.

A firefight broke out between Palestinian militants and Israeli soldiers, the military said. Israeli troops arrested a Palestinian injured in the shooting. The man’s family later identified him as Mujahid Ballas, 22, a resident of Jenin.

“In violation of orders and standard operating procedures, the suspect was taken by the forces while tied on top of a vehicle,” the Israeli military said, adding that such conduct “does not conform to the values” of its army.

Although the Israeli military said it would investigate, human rights groups have regularly criticized the country’s military-justice system, which they say rarely indicts or convicts those accused of inappropriate violence against Palestinians.

The troops handed over the wounded man to the Palestinian Red Crescent for medical care, the Israeli military said. Mr. Ballas had been shot in the leg and arm, and his skin had burns from lying on the vehicle’s hood in the scorching sun, said his father, Raed Ballas.

“These people have no limits,” he said, referring to the soldiers who tied up his son.

Mujahid Ballas was visiting his uncle’s house to play cards during his weekend holiday, his father said. He denied his son was involved in any militant activity, pointing to the fact that the Israeli security services had ultimately released him after the raid.

“If they had the slightest cause — they would not have let him go,” Raed Ballas said.

Violence in the occupied West Bank has increased in the eight months since the Hamas-led attack on Oct. 7 that set off the war in Gaza. More than 500 Palestinians and 12 Israelis have been killed in the territory, according to the United Nations, and thousands of Palestinians have been arrested in near-nightly Israeli raids.



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