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Israelis pose with dead Palestinians

18 August 2010 11:17

More humiliating photographs, taken by Israeli troopers and border guards, hit the internet, some featuring the servicemen posing next to dead Palestinians.

The pictures, published by the Israeli human rights group, Breaking the Silence, on the internet social hub of Facebook on Tuesday also showed the Israeli soldiers wearing smiles in cases, while striking a figure beside bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoners, some of them dead, Israeli website Ynetnews reported.

The photos unpleasantly remind the pictures taken by US forces at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The group circulated the pictures after a former female Israeli soldier caused a furor by posting similar images of herself onto Facebook, appearing boldly next to Palestinian captives, similarly handcuffed and forced to wear blindfolds.

“The new campaign came into being in the wake of the publication of (soldier) Eden Abergil’s photos, in order to show the prevalence of this phenomenon among (Israel Defense Forces) IDF ranks,” Breaking the Silence said.

Abergil, who was relieved of her duties a year ago, had posted the pictures under the album name “Army… the best time of my life:).”

“The photographs that had been published are merely the tip of the iceberg. Many people possess thousands of photos, but only a small part is being published.”

Around 7,000 Palestinians, including women and children, are currently held in Israeli detention facilities, reportedly suffering under harsh and life-threatening conditions.

Reacting to Abergil’s photos, another rights body, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, had said, “The horrible pictures demonstrate a norm of treating Palestinians like objects instead of human beings – treatment that disregards their feelings as humans and their right to privacy,” the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported on Monday.

Israel claimed existence in 1948, when it occupied the Palestinian territories alongside vast expanses of other Arab lands during full-fledged military operations.

In 1967, it went on to annex East al-Quds (Jerusalem), which is hailed as the capital of any potential Palestinian state, and later defied the international community’s condemnation of its act.

Jawad Amawi, director of legal affairs for the Palestinian Authority’s prisoners ministry, has threatened to take legal action against the former soldier’s publication of the pictures. “This is a breach of international law, clearly a breach of human rights,” he said.

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