An Israeli colonel accused of ordering soldiers to break the limbs of Palestinians testified today that beatings were "part of the accepted norm in that period" of the Palestinian uprising.
Testifying in his own defense, Col. Yehuda Meir told three military judges that his superiors did not question the beatings because "there was nothing special in it. . . . There was nothing out of the ordinary."
Meir testified Thursday that former Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin gave orders in January, 1988, to break the bones of Palestinian inciters as punishment.
Rabin rejected Meir's contention in an interview today on Israel Radio. He said he ordered the army to beat rioters only to bring them under control.
Meir admitted ordering beatings but said he now feels abandoned by Rabin and by Maj. Gen. Amram Mitzna, the former military commander of the West Bank and Meir's former commanding officer.
"I feel like they abandoned me and threw me to the dogs," Meir told the judges. He began to cry minutes later and asked for a recess.