An army investigating committee concluded that paramilitary border police "fired excessively" in a raid on a West Bank village that left five Arabs dead and 20 wounded, state-run Israel Radio reported Friday.
Senior military officers are expected to be disciplined for the April 13 incident, according to the report - but the committee found there was "no intention to perpetuate a massacre" as outraged Arab residents contended.The raid on the village of Nahalin southwest of Jerusalem was one of the bloodiest single events of the nearly 17-month-old Palestinian uprising in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. It drew international condemnation and brought calls from within Israel for a thorough investigation.
Villagers claimed the 30-man border police unit fired indiscriminately when it entered the village before dawn to make arrests. The army maintained the police were attacked by 100 Arab youths throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.
Israel Radio said the investigating panel of army and border police determined that the police, who are under army command, "deviated from army orders on firing" at Arab demonstrators and "fired excessively."
An army spokesman refused comment on the radio report and said no date had been set for formal release of the findings. The mass-circulation tabloid Hadashot reported Friday a review was focused on a lieutenant colonel who commanded the Nahalin operation and a major who prepared it.
A senior army source told Hadashot the officer responsible for intelligence also could be punished.