Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Israeli soldiers' T-shirts, bragging about shooting Palestinian children:


"Israeli soldiers’ shirts joke about killing Arabs:

"UN accuses Israel of human rights abuses in Gaza"

"In this photo taken March 16, an Israeli model poses with a T-shirt that reads 'Sniper platoon' in Hebrew. It also shows a pregnant Arab woman with the message that one shot would kill two Arabs.(YANAI YECHIEL / AP)

JERUSALEM — Israeli soldiers wore T-shirts with a pregnant woman in the cross-hairs of a rifle and the slogan "1 Shot 2 Kills," an Israeli newspaper says in a report that has added to a growing furor in the country over allegations of misconduct by troops during the Gaza war.

"The smaller they are, the harder it is," says another shirt showing a child in a gunsight. Soldiers wore the shirts to mark the end of basic training and other courses. They were reported by the newspaper Haaretz.

The military condemned the soldiers involved, and it was not immediately clear how many wore the shirts. They were not manufactured or sanctioned by the military, and it was not clear how widely they were distributed.

The shirts "are not in accordance with IDF values and are simply tasteless," the military said in a statement. "This type of humour is unbecoming and should be condemned."

The army said it would take disciplinary action against the soldiers involved.

The T-shirt allegations were followed Monday by a UN report in Geneva accusing Israeli soldiers of a number of human rights abuses in the Gaza conflict, including using an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield.

The Israeli soldiers ordered the boy on Jan. 15 to walk in front of soldiers being fired on in a Gaza neighbourhood and enter buildings before them, said Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN secretary general’s envoy for protecting children in armed conflict.

Coomaraswamy also said the boy was told to open the bags of Palestinians — presumably to protect soldiers from possible explosives — before being released at the entrance to a hospital.

She said the Jan. 15 incident, which allegedly occurred after Israeli tanks had rolled into the neighbourhood and during "intense operations," was a violation of Israeli and international law.

It was included in a 43-page report Monday, and was one of many reportedly verified human rights violations during the three-week war between Israel and Hamas that ended Jan. 18.

Coomaraswamy accused Israeli soldiers of shooting Palestinian children, bulldozing a home with a woman and child still inside and shelling a building they had ordered civilians into a day earlier...