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26 Oct, 2015 14:49

Palestinian beaten, held for days despite video proving innocence – Israeli human rights monitor

A young Palestinian getting beaten up and arrested by Israeli soldiers while showing minimal resistance was caught on security camera footage. Despite the same video proving his innocence, it was not reviewed for days after the arrest.

According to the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights, Ansar ‘Aasi, 25, was minding his own business at the office of a cleaning products company in al-Bireh, as clashes continued to explode nearby between the IDF and Palestinian youths.

As ‘Aasi stood at the entrance to the storage room, he caught the attention of Israeli soldiers, who must have mistaken him for one of the Palestinians from the chaos.

READ MORE: ‘Neutralized’: Israeli police shoot Palestinian girl dead, cite knife threat

This immediately led to him being tackled and violently arrested, all caught on the security camera overhead. As if this wasn’t enough, ‘Aasi hardly protested. While already on the ground trying to plead with his attackers, ‘Aasi was kicked and prodded by the Israelis with assault rifles.

“I stood still and raised my hands up to show that I am innocent, but he just attacked me – without questioning me or talking to me – and started beating me,” the victim told RT.

“I tried to tell them in Hebrew that I work here, but he insisted that I'd been throwing stones,” he added. “At my work, we wear a kind of protection mask along with gloves, as we deal with dangerous chemicals, and that's probably why they suspected me of throwing stones.”

The IDF responded to a request by RT to comment on the situation and admitted that their own soldier was at fault.

"The incident in the video is currently under review. The preliminary inquiry into the incident revealed that the soldier did not act in accordance to the standards expected by IDF soldiers. The video was taken during a violent riot, which included stone and firebomb throwing towards IDF forces near the community of Psagot," the IDF said in a statement to RT.

The young man was injured and had to be taken to a hospital as a result of the beating. Worse still, his case could not be heard for days and the accusers would not examine the video evidence. Held in detention for two whole days, ‘Aasi was interrogated and told repeatedly he was among those throwing rocks at the security forces – something he repeatedly denied.

It was only after the two days that a military court hearing resulted in the police examining the footage from the storage room. But even after that, according to the Israeli human rights body, the Palestinian was held for two more days.

These events come amid an atmosphere of heightened awareness and distrust between the two populations, as violence escalates and fears of another Intifada mount.