4 Israeli officers sentenced for theft, assaults against Palestinians

An Israeli court sentenced on Monday four border police officers to community service or imprisonment after they were convicted of theft and assaults against Palestinian workers.

The Beersheba District Court in southern Israel said in a statement that the four officers confessed to committing armed robbery, severe assault, conspiracy to commit crimes, breach of trust, and destruction of evidence.

Three of them were sentenced to imprisonment ranging from 16 to 48 months, while the fourth was sentenced to nine months of community service as he had not participated in the assaults, read the statement.

According to the indictment, the officers used to wait near a breach in the separation barrier between Israel and the occupied West Bank in the area of southern Hebron Hills, assaulting Palestinian workers attempting to cross into Israel in search of work.

Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups often report violations against Palestinians by Israeli soldiers and police, but indictments are rare. ■

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