Tough Week for Border Police

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JERUSALEM, Israel - This has not been a good week for Israeli Border Police.

On Wednesday, the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Department (PID) arrested two border policemen on charges of beating and robbing a Sudanese refugee on Sunday in Israel's southernmost resort town of Eilat.

The Sudanese man later filed a complaint with the Eilat police.

According to his statement, the border policemen ordered him to accompany them for a document check. After taking him to an isolated place, they beat and robbed him.

Border Police Commander Yisrael Yitzhak condemned the attack and promised to work closely with PID investigators to expose all those "who drag the name of the entire force through the mud, a force that works day and night for the security of the country and its citizens in the struggle against terrorism and crime."

In a separate incident, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court awarded $33,000 to an Israeli journalist whose camera was confiscated and destroyed by border police last year, israel national news reported.

Hezki Ezra, a journalist for Arutz Sheva, was covering a protest at Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem. After filming a border policeman hitting a protestor, his camera was confiscated and destroyed and he was taken in for questioning.

Shortly thereafter, Border Police apologized to him, offered to replace the camera and extend "special" privileges in exchange for not pressing charges. The journalist refused the offer.

At a press conference, a Border Police spokesman said Ezra took advantage of his press pass to participate in the demonstration.

Ezra's attorney presented video evidence to the court, along with an audio recording of the spokesman lying in order to defend the Border Police.

Border Police have been accompanying the Defense Ministry's Civil Administration inspectors distributing government orders on the construction ban to Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

Some residents have reported incidents of excessive force being used against them since the government began enforcing the building freeze.

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Sources: The Jerusalem Post, israel national news

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