Saturday, 23 June 2012

"Israeli" Soldiers Confess: We Ruin Palestinian Lives

Local Editor
A group of veteran "Israeli" soldiers who served the West Bank and Gaza have spoken out on camera about their experiences in the army.
The so-called "Israeli" organization "Breaking the Silence" has collected testimonies from 800 veteran "Israeli" soldiers who served in the West Bank and Gaza. In a new campaign, it has released video testimonies of six former soldiers describing their experiences.
The "Israeli" sodier "Amit" served in Ramallah, al-Khalil and the northern West Bank during the second intifada.

He describes an incident in which an "Israeli" commander swung his rifle at the jaw of a Palestinian at a roadblock near al-Quds.

"Beyond the fact that the guy fell to the ground, bleeding and screaming in pain, and of course all of the other Palestinians only grew angrier, it took us a long time to gain control of the mess and, of course, we had to more aggressive, cocking our weapons and such," he explained.
He further added that "the miserable ones being killed."

"I saw me running after people, I saw myself pointing a gun at a 3-year-old girl, I saw me and my friends cuffing people, checking people, detaining people. questioning people, arresting people. In most cases, it was for nothing."

Yehuda Shaul, says he did everything he was required to as a fighter -- and later a commander -- in the "Israeli" army.

"If the mission right now is to keep the kids out of school, then the kids won't go to school. If the mission is to disperse a funeral because of the curfew, then the family ... will not finish burying their dead relative. It will leave the corpse there and leave. And if they don't do it, they'll get stun grenades and gas," Shaul mentioned.
He says the most memorable part of his service was watching Palestinians getting beaten up by settlers in al-Khalil, while under military orders not to touch them.

Another soldier, Sagi, who also served in al-Khalil, recalls how "We ["Israeli" soldiers] are ruining people's lives on a daily basis."

Yael served as a scout in Gaza, monitoring a live video feed of the Gaza border.

She recalls seeing an elderly shepherd, "a grandpa, a really old man with his sheep," too close to the fence. She reported him to the combat engineering force. "I was conditioned to see shepherds and sheep herds as intelligence scouts."

"Israeli" forces fired in the air, startling the sheep, but the shepherd remained. Soldiers then shot the ground near the sheep "and they were startled again but the shepherd was determined to stay there. He didn't want to leave, he wanted to stay there."

The soldiers shot a sheep.

"(The shepherd) went to the sheep and tried to pick it up and it was full of blood and he tried to pick it up and take it back and they continued to shoot."

"The sheep didn't die but he had to leave it there and run away, they would've shot him and the rest of the sheep. He ran back and the sheep stayed there until it died."

"We're ruining people's lives on a daily basis."

Yael said she was testifying because she thought "people should know what's happening there."

In other testimonies, a soldier describes an incident in which a company of soldiers, including the battalion commander, assaulted a detained Palestinian.

A soldier in an elite unit recalls an officer being ridiculed for not following an order to shoot an elderly, sick Palestinian who had gone back into his home to get his medication during an arrest raid.

Source: Maan, Edited by

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
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