Thursday, August 19, 2010

Israeli abuse pictures 'common'

By Andrew Wander

"Israeli soldiers are routinely taking degrading photographs of dead and captured Palestinians and posting them on the internet, human rights groups have said.

The claims come a day after the Israeli military attempted to quell controversy over photographs showing a female soldierposing provocativelywith blindfolded Palestinian detainees.
The Israeli military said on Monday that the pictures were "disgraceful" and insisted that the incident was in "total opposition" to the army's "ethical code".

But on Tuesday an Israeli rights group released a fresh batch of photographs [see post below], apparently showing Israeli troops posing with dead, wounded and captured Palestinians, which they said cast doubt on the official line that such incidents are rare.

Breaking the Silence, an organisation that collects testimony from former soldiers, posted a folder on the internet containing nine pictures obtained from army veterans.....

Rights activists say that the phenomenon of taking so-called 'souvenir pictures' is widespread within the Israeli military.

"We released these because it seemed as if the IDF was presenting the pictures that came out yesterday as a one-off case," Mikhael Manekin, a campaigner from Breaking the Silence, told Al Jazeera.

"Pictures of soldiers with detainees are highly normative. The soldiers themselves aren't even embarrassed about these pictures, which shows how normative they are."

Meanwhile, Israeli human rights group B'tselem said testimony from Palestinians corroborates anecdotal evidence that such pictures are not unusual....."

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