Israeli female soldiers divulge violations against Palestinian civilians 30Jan10 January 31, 2010

The Palestine Telegraph -  30 January 2010


Somehow, a female combatant has to prove herself more, on the ground too. Again, a female combatant who can lash out is a serious fighter. Capable. A ball-breaker. There was one with me when I got there, she’d been there long before, she was – wow, everyone talked about what grit she had, because she could humiliate Arabs without batting an eyelash. That was the thing to do…

Breaking The Silence Israeli group reported that several Israeli female soldiers testified, without revealing their identity to the public in fear of retaliation, and revealed a small section of the violations practiced by the soldiers, males and females, against the Palestinians.

Part of the testimonies is regarding “extra efforts” that female soldiers should conduct in order to be recognized and accepted by the fellow male soldiers.

One of the soldiers said that she had to humiliate the Palestinians on roadblocks, to shout at them and even to beat them to achieve this recognition.

Another soldier said that she saw a fellow female soldier humiliating Palestinian residents “in a way that cannot be described by words”, and added that “you have to see it to realize how she behaves, how she humiliates the Palestinians without caring about anything”.

“Everybody is doing that”, the soldier added, “Soldiers and senior officers, nobody objects”.

Another female soldier said that they [female soldiers] had to beat Palestinian youths and men, and that they had to mistreat the residents regardless of their sex or age.

She said that when Border Policemen capture Palestinian workers staying in Israel without permits, they start chanting “for their victory” and then they start beating and kicking the Palestinian workers.

Sometimes, the soldiers ask the Palestinians to chant in praise of their unit, and that it became a requirement to humiliate the Palestinians and mistreat them.

At least 50 female soldiers testified on what the army is doing on roadblocks in the occupied West Bank, and at the Eretz Terminal between Gaza and Israel.

One of the soldiers said that the soldiers arrested a Palestinian youth who hurled stones at them in the center of Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank.

One of the soldiers was so scared from the small stone hurled by the youth, fell into a ditch and broke his leg. The soldier was moved to an Israeli hospital while his comrades caught the Palestinian youth and deliberately broke his arm.

They forced him to lay his arm on a chair, and then they hit it with a sharp object, she added.

In another incident, a female soldier said that she heard a gunshot and rushed, along with other soldiers, to the scene to find a Palestinian youth bleeding after being shot in his abdomen.

The soldiers who were at the scene claimed that he tried to run away after he was asked to present his identity card. But the fact was that the identity card was already handed to the soldiers, as one of them was holding it.

She added that the soldiers involved in the incident were never questioned by their commanding officers.

Several female soldiers testified that both male and female soldiers beat Palestinian women on roadblocks, force them to slap themselves on the face, and sometimes the soldiers even punch and kick the women.

They added that female soldiers have to do the same, have to humiliate the Palestinians and abuse the Palestinians to prove that they are capable of doing that, and that they are not less “effective than male soldiers”.

International Middle East Media Center

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