A leading Israeli news anchor has slammed the Tel Aviv regime for turning troops into “human animals” after new reports emerged about the abuse of Palestinians in detention.
Channel 13 TV’s Oshrat Kotler made the remarks on Saturday night, commenting on Israeli forces brutally beating a handcuffed and blindfolded father and forcing his son to watch it.
According to Haaretz, the Israeli soldiers slapped, punched and bludgeoned the two detainees until the father’s ribs and nose were broken on January 8.
“They send children to the army, to the territories, and get them back human animals. That’s the result of the occupation,” Kotler said.
Israeli mistreatment of Palestinian detainees has long been reported by rights activists and their lawyers but public access to new social media and information devices has brought new aspects of the regime’s brutality to light.
Over the past year, videos of Israeli snipers rejoicing “successful” shooting of unarmed Palestinians have triggered global outcry. Rights bodies have said the shootings and other violations represent what is the rule for the Israeli military.
A video circulating on social media of Israeli soldiers rejoicing after a sniper shoots an unarmed Palestinian near Gaza’s border raises controversy.
Kotler’s comments on Saturday outraged Israeli leaders who rushed to the defense of their troops, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying “the journalist’s words deserve all condemnation.”
“Oshrat, you’re confused,” hawkish Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett wrote. His new party, Hayamin Hehadash, tweeted that it would appeal to the attorney general to bring Kotler to trial.
Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement group that monitors settlement activity in the West Bank, supported Kotler.
“It is permissible and even desirable to look into the mirror from time to time and honestly admit to the damage [caused by] the occupation,” it said. “Those whose children’s futures are important to them should work to end the conflict rather than maintain it, because the price is high.”
Channel 13 news also rallied behind Kotler, saying she “is an opinionated journalist who makes her opinions known from time to time, as do other reporters with different opinions.”
“Oshrat was voicing her personal opinion only,” the network said.
Rising criticism, including by Israeli secular-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, however forced the anchor to qualify her statements.
“My criticism was directed only at those soldiers led by our control over the Palestinians to hurt innocent people,” she said.
The United Nations (UN) says acts of violence and vandalism committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property have risen since the beginning of the year 2019.
The Israeli military regularly opens fire on Palestinians, accusing them of attempting to carry out stabbing attacks against its forces.
Human rights groups have criticized the Tel Aviv regime for its shoot-to-kill policy as a large number of the Palestinians killed at the scene of attacks did not pose serious threats to Israelis.
Tensions have risen across the Palestinian territories since a move by the United States in late 2017 to recognize the holy city of Jerusalem al-Quds in the West Bank as Israel’s “capital.”
Israel has also tightened military presence on the Gaza fence, deploying armored vehicles, back-up special forces and snipers. The regime’s forces have permission to open fire on unarmed Gazans.