Israeli soldiers burn Palestinian flag at checkpoint
An Israeli soldier checks a Palestinian youth near the Jalama checkpoint, where a Palestinian man allegedly carried out a stabbing attack earlier. (AFP/File)
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The Palestinian Authority has submitted an official complaint to the Israeli authorities after a group of Israeli soldiers was reported to have torched a Palestinian flag at a military checkpoint south of Nablus.
Palestinian security sources told Ma'an on Wednesday the soldiers torched the flag at Awarta checkpoint near Huwwara military base in a "provocative" manner in front of hundreds of Palestinians traveling through the checkpoint.
The sources said the Israeli authorities had promised to take punitive procedures against the soldiers. An Israeli army spokesperson said the case fell under the jurisdiction of Israeli police, although a police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Israeli forces have faced repeated criticism for their conduct at scores of military checkpoints throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, where Palestinians face routine provocation and humiliation.
An Israeli soldier's killing of a wounded Palestinian in Hebron last month sparked a furious debate in Israel in which many Israeli politicians quickly abandoned their initial condemnations of the soldier to take part in a struggle to be seen as the greatest allies of Israel's armed forces.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli soldiers "maintain high ethical values" while fighting "courageously" in the occupied West Bank.
Israel's critics have expressed doubts that Israel's military courts will fairly try the soldier, arguing that there is a deeply-engrained culture of impunity for Israelis who engage in violence towards Palestinians.
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