News24

Israeli troops abused kids - activists

2012-08-26 22:10

Jerusalem - Former Israeli activist soldiers who served in the occupied territories say that mistreatment of Palestinian children by troops is "routine" and occurs even at times of relative calm.

A collection of over 30 testimonies published on Sunday by Breaking the Silence, a group of ex-servicemen critical of army practices, says physical violence, often arbitrary, is used against very young children.

"The testifiers depict a routine in which Palestinian minors, often under 10 years of age, are treated in a manner that ignores their young age," says the 72-page booklet.

Entitled Children and Youth: Soldiers' Testimonies 2005-2011, it covers a period after the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, of 2000-2005.

"Although the events described here took place after the peak of the second intifada, at a time perceived as calm and uneventful from a ‘security’ standpoint, the reality that emerges from the testimonies shows that harsh treatment of Palestinian children continues unabated," it says.

In one example, a former staff-sergeant, unidentified like most who give testimony, describes a punitive raid on a neighbourhood in the Ramallah area following earlier clashes with Palestinians.

He said a dozen soldiers with wooden clubs "beat people to a pulp. Finally the children who remained on the ground were arrested. The order was to run, make people fall to the ground," he said.

"A slow runner was beaten, that was the rule," he said.

Another former staff-sergeant describes an operation against the West Bank village of Azzun, where stones had been thrown from a curve in the road at motorists from the nearby Israeli settlement of Maale Shomron.

Freaking out

"We got to the village, drove up to the houses closest to the curve, and then saw a group of children, 9-10 years old, running away," he said.

"First they ran, went onto the balcony of some house, and then the commander took a stun grenade and hurled it into that balcony. It blew up. I don’t think it hurt them or anything, but it made them run out of the balcony."

He describes a chase after the children during which his commander cocked his firearm and aimed in the face of one of them from close range.

"The kid was just freaking out, certain he was going to be killed, and begged and pleaded for his life," the soldier said.

"A kid has to beg for his life? A loaded gun is pointed at him and he has to plead for mercy? This is something that scars him for life."

The Israeli military said in response that Breaking the Silence had not provided it with sufficient background material to enable it to investigate specific claims.

"By compiling testimonies over long periods of times and refusing to provide additional details, the organisation proves its true intentions - rather than facilitating proper investigation, the organisation seeks to generate negative publicity regarding the IDF and its soldiers," it said in a statement.

Comments
  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-26 23:05

    Obviously wrong. Should be dealt with clearly and decisively.

      piet.boerie - 2012-08-27 05:32

      Fred Fraser is a well known Israeli paid blogger. He only ever appears on Israel topics around this site or to bash Tutu. There are a few here which always has the same dumb names Fred Fraser, guys get a bit more inventive.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-27 06:28

      You know this how? Have you seen my bank statements? What does Tutu have to do with anything? Hahahahaha!

      zaks2217 - 2012-08-27 07:13

      Oh so obvious hey fred. Its not obvious its OBVIAAAAS. Clown

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-27 07:16

      To delusional people who think there is a conspiracy when people strongly disagree with them, yes.

  • faan.kruger.9 - 2012-08-26 23:15

    Now why on earth are you cross with the soldiers???? Why not direct your anger towards the instigators who encouraged the kids to throw stones.....and I bet you petrol bombs to! Or were the kids just "walking to the shop"....as we experienced in this country? No...as we are experiencing on a daily basis in this country. The result of "liberation before education".....and now "economic freedom before education" Direct your anger at the instigators and not the protectors.

      defenderfujvfk.truthxfuj - 2012-08-26 23:21

      You dont even make sense Lets hope police torture you for a traffic offence

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-27 00:33

      Wilweet's point is valid: Palestinians teach their children in kindergarten to attack Israel. They are instigating the excessive use of force against them. This does not excuse Israel from responsibility when misusing power.

      LanfearM - 2012-08-27 08:32

      @ Wilweet & fred.fraser.12 - tit for tat, the Israelies teach their children in kindergarten to hate and oppress the Palestinians. Both sides are to blame in this endless war.

      ivan.schoultz - 2012-08-27 15:10

      @Wilweet - I don't give a shirt what the REASONS are, and I am not saying the kids are innocent either, and yes, the Palestinian adults may certainly have played their part in instigating the kids, that is not the point of my disgust, this is: Whatever your reasons ... does that give you the right to abuse KIDS ??? Does anyone who defends this behaviour honestly think that they have the moral high-ground when they are abusing kids? Innocent or not, they are still KIDS ... and you as an adult should still have compassion enough to respect that, **especially** if the Palestinian adults do not.

  • watchman.smith - 2012-08-26 23:18

    Another lie from the mass media and the Palestinians.

      defenderfujvfk.truthxfuj - 2012-08-26 23:20

      TunnelVision, selective belief, All sound Familiar? Idiot

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-27 00:35

      Another extremely dark and violent post from Muhammed. Have you given the land that you inhabit in South Africa back to the Khoi San? Your ancestors purchased it from those who took if from them, its original owners.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-27 16:45

      This is the source :> http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=356_1346035226

  • defenderfujvfk.truthxfuj - 2012-08-27 01:27

    SICK

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-27 06:34

    Terrorists use children to provoke the military, and "Breaking The Silence", whoever they are, pick on this.

  • rudie.stoltz - 2012-08-27 08:19

    It is war. What did palestine do ? Bomb Israeli children ? This is one sided.

  • Yankey Yanow - 2012-08-27 10:14

    palestinians pple must get free that is all ,but u pple donot support some one u dont know

  • ludlowdj - 2012-08-27 11:26

    The Jewish response merely proves that they believe that the end justifies the means. normal one sided view, that seems to be a mainstay of this country.

      boom.baracus - 2012-08-27 11:59

      Why is this a one-sided view? Why do you say that the "Jewish" response proves they believe the end justifies the means? Why do you assume that those who do not buy into the propaganda hate machine of the palestinians are all Jewish? I DARE you to answer properly.

  • ivan.schoultz - 2012-08-27 14:45

    I can understand why the Israeli soldiers would do this TO KIDS, I simply disagree that they SHOULD. additional quote: Some of the statements illustrate the disjunction between the Israeli military and Palestinians. One soldier said: “You put up a checkpoint out of boredom, sit there for a few hours and then continue on. Once I saw kids passing, and one of the guys, a reservist who spoke Arabic, wanted to ask them what they study. He didn’t mean it in any bad way. Then I saw how the kid nearly peed his pants as the guy tried to kid with him, how the two worlds are simply disconnected. The guy was kidding and the kid was scared to death.” ... He had given a witness statement to Breaking the Silence because “I thought that people who don’t see this on an everyday basis should know what’s going on.” He said many Israelis were unwilling to acknowledge the reality of the military occupation in the West Bank. “It’s very easy [for the Israeli public] to be completely detached. It’s a hard thing to handle – stuff like that being done in your name.” read more: http://the2012scenario.com/2012/08/israeli-veterans-disclose-past-atrocities-involving-treatment-of-palestinian-children/

      boaz.yarmarkov - 2012-08-27 15:07

      The article above - only proves one thing - that Israel is a democracy that has faults like all nations - but the system works to find these problems and deal with them. "Breaking the Silence" is NOT a Palestinian organisation, rather it is an ISRAELI one: (http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/) - it takes a democracy to question yourself - and a democracy to acknowledge when faults are done. However, Israel wants peace with their neighbours not war... The problem with the Arab world, like your response, is that when you always view the other side as evil you will never learn to compromise… When the Arab world starts questioning itself on its own merits and faults then they will open the door to diplomacy and negotiations. When the Arab world asks themselves why they refuse to recognise Israel, then they will realise why the Palestinians are still suffering today. Its time to accept responsibility Ivan not make excuses. Israel wants peace – always have, always will.

      ivan.schoultz - 2012-08-27 15:41

      @boaz.yarmarkov - I fully agree with you that the Israeli nation has the capacity to admit it's faults, however from commenters on news24 it seems the South African Israeli contingent disagrees with that and is out to prove that wrong. I know the average Jew wants peace (and that has been my comment many times before, which the n24-pro-Jew seems to think I am being anti-Jew for and delete my posts.) I am certainly not anti-Jew, but I do on occasion bring up points which are difficult address, and it may appear I am one sided only because I have had no Arab friends, but have many Jewish friends which is why I understand them. Yes, the Arabs will have to face their own skeletons, but I do not comment on those points simply because I am not equipped to do so. I believe that the Jews are chosen by God (not to be better than, or higher than) but to be the instrument of a very important task. I believe He has used this "2000 years" as the training period for what will imminently become relevant. I believe this task is very much related to the healing of the whole of humanity. The Jews know - more than any other nation - what it means to ostracized, demonized, hated etc. yet they retain the most amazing capacity for community and have the most amazing compassion that I have not witnessed in any other nation. I believe it is this compassion that God will unleash to the world when the time is right, and this "weapon" will heal humanity. The time is near. Are you ready?

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