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IDF soldiers testify to ill-treatment of Palestinian children

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‘Harassment, arrest, and mistreatment of Palestinian children’ are the main violations outlined in Breaking the Silence 72 page report

Soldiers who served in the Israeli Army between 2005 and 2011 have discussed their treatment of Palestinians in a 72 page report released by an organisation called Breaking the Silence on Sunday (File photo) AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON

Soldiers who served in the Israeli Army between 2005 and 2011 have discussed their treatment of Palestinians in a 72 page report released by an organisation called Breaking the Silence on Sunday (File photo)
AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON

Soldiers who served in the Israeli Army between 2005 and 2011 have discussed their treatment of Palestinians in a 72 page report released by an organisation called Breaking the Silence on Sunday.

The report features 47 testimonies highlighting the harassment, arrest, and mistreatment of Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation.

Some of the testimonies describe how children are terrified of the soldiers; crying and even soiling themselves during arrests.

One testimony describes how children who threw Molotov cocktails in the direction of a settlement were shot even though the Molotov cocktails would not have reached or directly endangered anyone. Once the children lit the Molotov cocktails, they “were free game,” according to a soldier’s testimony.

Breaking the Silence which is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) made up of veterans who served in the Israeli army after the second Intifada or uprising, which started in 2000, and is supported by private donations.

The NGO, founded in 2004, has collected testimonies from over 700 soldiers, who mostly choose to remain anonymous, giving a voice to major actors in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Another report released in April by NGO Defence for Children International called, Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention, claims that 7500 Palestinian children have been interrogated and imprisoned over the past 11 years, equating to an average of roughly two per day.

The April report relies on testimonies of 311 children held in the Israeli military detention system and claims that the evidence compiled in the report shows “systemic ill-treatment.” Of the 311 children, 95 percent were blindfolded during detention and 75 percent were subjected to physical violence.

Most children are arrested in the middle of the night. During interrogation, they are usually coerced to confess through verbal abuse and threats according to the April report.

  • JohnWV

    This excerpt from Times of India, June 18, 2012, may contribute to understanding of Israel’s behavior.

    RABBI OVADIA Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is the former Chief Rabbi of Israel and the spiritual leader of the Shas party Israels “kingmaker” party . In a sermon given on Saturday on laws concerning what non-Jews are permitted to do on Shabbat, Yosef said: “Goyim [non-Jews] were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel. Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat.” According to Yosef, death has “no dominion” over non-Jews in Israel. “With gentiles, it will be like any person – they need to die, but [God] will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money. This is his servant… That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew.”

    MENACHEM BEGIN “Our race is the Master Race. We Jews are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.”


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