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Friday, 26 November 2004
More black eyes for the IDF.
[See Oct. 30 for original post on the killing of Iman al-Hams 13 years old.]

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

An Israeli army commander has been put on trial in a military court after his fellow soldiers testified that he repeatedly shot a 13-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl last month to make sure she was dead.

In a rare move, the military has charged the army commander with illegally using his weapon and obstruction of justice. In an army videotape leaked to the media, the officer can be heard over the radio saying anyone - even a three-year-old child - should be killed if they moved in his area.

Middle East Correspondent Mark Willacy reports that the tape has shocked many Israelis, with some Israeli media outlets describing the shooting as an atrocity.

When Palestinian doctors finally retrieved Iman al-Hams' body they found it riddled with at least 15 Israeli bullets.

Major Sharon Feingold is a spokeswoman for the Israeli army.

SHARON FEINGOLD: Now, let us not forget that the area that she was moving around is a battlezone, it's not an amusement park, the girl was not supposed to be where she was.

MARK WILLACY: Why did the soldiers keep firing at the girl, even after she was identified as someone, quote, "only about 10 years old," unquote? Now, that's in the indictment.

SHARON FEINGOLD: What is obvious and what the commander is saying that he, as far as he's concerned, and his soldiers, they neutralised the threat.

MARK WILLACY: You say neutralise a threat, but the indictment says the soldier charged at the girl after she'd been shot, he then fired two rounds at her from a close range, he walked away, he then turned around and shot her again. That's a bit more than neutralising a threat, especially after this girl was identified as only about 13-years-old.

SHARON FEINGOLD: When she was identified an order was given to charge, and this is why the commander of the outpost left the outpost. At this time she was still a threat, and the fact that she was identified by someone at the post as a young girl does not lessen the threat. As I said, children have been used in this area as baits for soldiers.

MARK WILLACY: But Israeli military prosecutor, Ran Cohen, believes Captain R. did violate his orders. Prosecutor Cohen says the unit commander has been charged with the illegal use of his weapon, the improper use of authority, and obstruction of justice.

After repeatedly shooting Iman al-Hams, Captain R issues one final radio order.

(Sound of Captain R issuing radio order)

"Anyone who moves in the area, even if it's a 3-year-old, we should kill him," he says.

The Israeli army prides itself on the notion of "purity of arms", which forbids soldiers to use their weapons against non-combatants. But Palestinians say that code has clearly been violated in the killing of Iman al-Hams.


IDF playing with dead bodies.

AP:

JERUSALEM - Young Israeli soldiers systematically desecrate the bodies of dead Palestinian militants, playing with body parts and posing for souvenir photographs with bullet-riddled cadavers, an Israeli newspaper's Internet site reported Wednesday.

The report gave several examples of what it described as systematic desecration and photography of the bodies of Palestinian terrorists, charging that it had become a phenomenon in the army.

Some of the photographs showed soldiers playing with remains of a suicide bomber as if he were a human jigsaw puzzle, then parading his severed head with a cigarette in its mouth.

It quoted a junior officer, identified only as "Y," saying pictures of the incident later went on sale for two shekels (about 60 cents Cdn) apiece.

"It really cracked up the whole platoon, everyone was delighted," he told the newspaper. "I remember I tried to tell them, 'Are you crazy, you're disgusting.' They just couldn't understand what I was talking about."

Another soldier, "G," tells of returning to base after an operation. The bodies of dead militants were dumped next to the camp latrines.

"Somebody covered them with blankets but soldiers kept coming to lift the blankets and have a look, have a bit of fun," he said. "I remember that some pulled the hair of one of the bodies and played with it."

Posted by bushmeister0 at 3:47 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 26 November 2004 3:48 PM EST
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