Does Occupation Generate Evil?

From Holden:

Looks like the Israelis have some bad apples of their own:

The chief of staff of Israel’s army on Friday promised a full investigation into reports that troops desecrated Palestinian bodies and then snapped their photographs with the corpses as war mementos.

Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon denied that the incidents detailed in a Yediot Ahronot newspaper report were widespread in the Israeli military and said such “horrible acts” were forbidden in the army.


In one of the most gruesome acts detailed in the report, soldiers from an ultra-Orthodox unit reassembled the body parts of a Palestinian suicide bomber, sticking a cigarette in his mouth, according to the report. The account of the incident that took place in the West Bank two years ago included a photograph of the head of the corpse.

“Everyone was really excited,” a soldier identified as “Y,” told the mass circulation daily. I tried to tell them, `Are you crazy? You are disgusting.’ They didn’t understand what I was talking about.”

The desecration of bodies, even of the enemy, is not allowed under Jewish law, since man is created in the image of God, prominent rabbis say.

The newspaper details soldiers’ accounts of several other incidents, including one in the Gaza Strip last year, when soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian who was walking in a forbidden area.

Although soldiers later realized the man was not carrying a weapon, they tied the body to the hood of a jeep and drove him to a base, where soldiers repeatedly took his picture, the report said.


Mass-selling Israeli daily Yedout Ahronot carried the photos, in which Israeli occupation soldiers were posing next to the bodies of dead Palestinians.

In another picture, a soldier points his weapon at a corpse while pressing his foot into the half-naked body.

A third picture shows a dead man, a cigarette allegedly stuck in his mouth by troops.


Yedout Ahronot’s investigation of the scandal includes numerous accounts of Israeli soldiers who photographed the bodies of Palestinians or who were themselves photographed with bodies.

“When walking by a Palestinian shot in combat, several troops would fire into the dead body. One of them even shot four bullets,” one soldier is quoted as saying by the Israeli newspaper.


Meanwhile, Israeli army opened investigation into an officer accused of shooting a 13-year-old Palestinian girl repeatedly at point-blank range, a lawyer for the girl’s family said Thursday.

Lea Tzemel, an Israeli lawyer representing the girl’s family, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying that soldiers fired at the girl, Iman Al-Hams, while on her way to school.

Iman Al-Hams was riddled with 20 bullets, mostly in the upper body, by three Israeli soldiers in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah .

Al-Hams was left lying in a pool of blood because ambulances had been denied access.


If true, the photos would come as a grim reminder of the abuse of Iraqi detainees by US soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad .

Many Arabs complain that Iraqis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip share the same blight of suffering from occupation of foreign troops.