The Israeli army said on Tuesday it is taking disciplinary action against reserve officers accused of stripping and beating Palestinian prisoners in the occupied West Bank.

The move followed newspaper reports last week that troops operating in and around the town of Kalkilya took Arab prisoners into an orange grove, stripped and beat them, and in some cases used a dog to intimidate them."The reserve battalion commander comitted offenses against military discipline and good order by not preventing aberrant behavior. . . toward the local population," a spokeswoman said.

"The deputy commander . . . ordered that Arab prioners be brought to the grove where they were stripped to prevent their escape and some also beaten," she said.

"A reserve sergeant beat prisoners and threatened them with his dog. All three will face disciplinary proceedings," she added.