TEL AVIV — Several videos have emerged on social media appearing to show Israeli troops abusing bound and blindfolded Palestinian detainees.
Some of the footage, first noticed on the social media platform X on Tuesday and reviewed by NBC News, shows Palestinian detainees lying on the ground naked. In one video, a man is kicked in the stomach as he kneels, then spit on.
In the most graphic scene, soldiers stand around a group of blindfolded Palestinian men whose hands are tied behind their backs. Most of the detainees are shirtless or completely naked. An Israeli soldier can be seen stomping on the head of one Palestinian man who is on his back, his bound hands covering his face. The man cries out for his mother in Arabic. He is then dragged away, screaming.
Another man with a Palestinian accent wails repeatedly in Arabic: “God, I can’t handle this.”
Much of what is said in that video is not audible, but two phrases can be heard in Hebrew: “Anyone who shouldn’t be here, please leave,” and “Pick him up, move there.”
The soldiers’ uniforms in the footage appear consistent with Israel Defense Forces attire. In response to inquiries about the videos, the IDF issued a series of statements.
“The conduct of the force that emerges from the footage is deplorable and does not comply with the army’s orders. The circumstances of the incident are being examined,” the IDF said. It also acknowledged that it was aware of at least two incidents shown and that commanders were reviewing the cases.
“Disciplinary actions will be applied accordingly,” the IDF said.
A video appears to show IDF soldiers with detained Palestinians.via @RamAbdu / X
NBC News could not independently verify where or when any of the footage was shot. The circumstances under which the videos were captured are also unknown, as are the events preceding and following them.
However, in a story published Wednesday, The Times of Israel described a set of images and videos, including the footage reviewed by NBC News, that it said show Israeli soldiers mistreating Palestinian detainees in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli news outlet Ynet, meanwhile, reported that the incident involving the naked detainees was shot near the Gaza Strip.
The footage has drawn renewed attention to the conduct of Israel’s military.
In the graphic video showing a bound man kicked as he kneels, only the assailant’s foot and leg are visible on camera; however, the detainee is next to a car, and the attacker’s reflection can be seen in its hood, appearing to show a man in uniform.
The assailant speaks in Hebrew, then Arabic, then Hebrew again: “Listen, did you like Paz’s good morning? Now he wants us to speak in Arabic. Good morning, whore. Good morning, whore. Spit on you, sheep f---er.”
The assailant then spits on the prostrate man.
Yet another video depicts a bound and blindfolded Palestinian man who appears to have blood on his head and arm. His pants are at his ankles as he lies on his side on the dirt, though his underwear remains on. A group of other detained Palestinian men shown bound on the ground nearby are fully clothed and do not immediately appear to be injured.
Israel is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, which regulate the conduct of armed conflict. Those rules forbid humiliating and degrading treatment and stipulate that detainees must be dealt with humanely.
The footage could further inflame tensions in the region, including in the occupied West Bank, where the incidents filmed may have taken place. Arrests of Palestinians there and violence between Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents have spiked since Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on Israel and the resulting Israeli airstrikes on the impoverished and blockaded Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Prisoners Club, a nongovernmental organization that monitors arrests, said the IDF has detained 1,830 Palestinians in the West Bank since the Israel-Hamas war began.
When asked about those figures, the IDF said it has been “conducting intensive counterterrorism activity” in the West Bank with other agencies, based on intelligence information.
“Over 550 terror attacks were carried out towards Israeli Civilians and security forces. In response, the IDF has apprehended over 1200 suspects, 742 of them belonging to the Hamas terror organization,” it said in a statement.
It also confirmed that 38 people were arrested Tuesday night alone in the West Bank. NBC News was not able to independently verify those numbers.
According to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry, 136 Palestinians have been killed and 1,940 wounded in the West Bank as a result of IDF and settler attacks since Oct. 7.
However, clashes in the area have been a long-standing issue and do not solely stem from the current conflict — prior to the Israel-Hamas war, violence in the West Bank was at its highest in almost two decades, according to the United Nations.
Mo Abbas reported from Tel Aviv, Rima Abdelkader from New York and Caroline Radnofsky from London.
Mo Abbas is a London-based multimedia producer for NBC News.
Rima Abdelkader is a senior reporter for Social Newsgathering at NBC News in New York.
Caroline Radnofsky is a supervising reporter for NBC News' Social Newsgathering team based in London.
Janhvi Bhojwani , Sara Mhaidli, Marin Scott, Chantal Da Silva and Dana Varinsky contributed.