Friday 25 March 2011


These are two older articles consisting of confessions by female Israeli soldiers.  They do some awful things during their tours of duty, but in committing crimes for the state of Israel, they, too, are compromised and on various levels, also victimized on a psychological level. 

However, unlike the Palestinians, they still had a choice whether or not to enlist! 

There are kids taking a stand, and there are many "draft dodgers" who have faked religious beliefs to avoid duty. But to really be heard, they could have proudly taken a stand and faced the music rather than feel badly later for their actions and feel a certain amount of shame.

A female IDF with a prisoner




January 30, 2010
By Saed Bannoura
Reposted: March 25, 2011

Somehow, a female combatant has to prove herself more, on the ground too. Again, a female combatant who can lash out is a serious fighter. Capable. A ball-breaker. There was one with me when I got there; she’d been there long before, she was ~ wow, everyone talked about what grit she had, because she could humiliate Arabs without batting an eyelash. That was the thing to do...

Breaking The Silence Israeli group reported that several Israeli female soldiers testified, without revealing their identity to the public in fear of retaliation, and revealed a small section of the violations practiced by the soldiers, males and females, against the Palestinians.

Part of the testimonies is regarding “extra efforts” that female soldiers should conduct in order to be recognized and accepted by the fellow male soldiers.

One of the soldiers said that she had to humiliate the Palestinians on roadblocks, to shout at them and even to beat them to achieve this recognition.

Another soldier said that she saw a fellow female soldier humiliating Palestinian residents “in a way that cannot be described by words”, and added that “you have to see it to realize how she behaves, how she humiliates the Palestinians without caring about anything”.

“Everybody is doing that”, the soldier added, “Soldiers and senior officers, nobody objects”.

Another female soldier said that they [female soldiers] had to beat Palestinian youths and men, and that they had to mistreat the residents regardless of their sex or age.

She said that when Border Policemen capture Palestinian workers staying in Israel without permits, they start chanting “for their victory” and then they start beating and kicking the Palestinian workers.

Sometimes, the soldiers ask the Palestinians to chant in praise of their unit, and that it became a requirement to humiliate the Palestinians and mistreat them.

At least 50 female soldiers testified on what the army is doing on roadblocks in the occupied West Bank, and at the Eretz Terminal between Gaza and Israel.

One of the soldiers said that the soldiers arrested a Palestinian youth who hurled stones at them in the center of Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank.

One of the soldiers was so scared from the small stone hurled by the youth, fell into a ditch and broke his leg. The soldier was moved to an Israeli hospital while his comrades caught the Palestinian youth and deliberately broke his arm.

They forced him to lay his arm on a chair, and then they hit it with a sharp object, she added.

In another incident, a female soldier said that she heard a gunshot and rushed, along with other soldiers, to the scene to find a Palestinian youth bleeding after being shot in his abdomen.

The soldiers who were at the scene claimed that he tried to run away after he was asked to present his identity card. But the fact was that the identity card was already handed to the soldiers, as one of them was holding it.

She added that the soldiers involved in the incident were never questioned by their commanding officers.

Several female soldiers testified that both male and female soldiers beat Palestinian women on roadblocks, force them to slap themselves on the face, and sometimes the soldiers even punch and kick the women.

They added that female soldiers have to do the same, have to humiliate the Palestinians and abuse the Palestinians to prove that they are capable of doing that, and that they are not less “effective than male soldiers”.

…Somehow, a female combatant has to prove herself more, on the ground too. Again, a female combatant who can lash out is a serious fighter. Capable. A ball-breaker. There was one with me when I got there, she’d been there long before, she was – wow, everyone talked about what grit she had, because she could humiliate Arabs without batting an eyelash. That was the thing to do.

... I think guys need to prove themselves less in this respect……

 Sexualizing the female IDF, making war "steamy"


Amir Shilo
January 29, 2010
Reposted: March 25, 2011

Six years after first collection of Breaking the Silence testimonies, organization releases booklet of testimonies from female soldiers who served in territories. Stories include systematic humiliation of Palestinians, reckless and cruel violence, theft, killing of innocent people and cover-up. Here are only some of testimonies
Amir Shilo 

"A female combat soldier needs to prove more…a female soldier who beats up others is a serious fighter…when I arrived there was another female there with me, she was there before me…everyone spoke of how impressive she is because she humiliates Arabs without any problem. That was the indicator. You have to see her, the way she humiliates, the way she slaps them, wow, she really slapped that guy."

The Breaking the Silence organization on Friday released a booklet of testimonies by female soldiers recounting various abuse cases involving Palestinians in the West Bank.

In recent years, females have been increasingly involved in combat and field operations in the IDF and Border Guard. Among other things, these female soldiers engage in daily contact with the Palestinian population ~ at roadblocks and in Palestinian communities.

According to the latest testimonies, many of these young women have trouble coping with the violent reality they are exposed to and find themselves facing situations that contradict their values. Some of them end up engaging in acts, or turning a blind eye to acts, that will burden them years later. Like their male counterparts, some of these females have a need to speak about what they saw.

"The girls have greater difficulties in telling the story, because they're the minority to begin with" the organization's director Dana Golan says.



In the framework of the latest project, Breaking the Silence gathered the testimonies of more than 50 female soldiers who served in various posts in the territories. Ynet presents some of the highlights in this report.

Golan noted that female soldiers were not more sensitive to the Palestinians than their male comrades. 
"We discovered that the girls try to be even more violent and brutal than the boys, just to become one of the guys," she said. 

Reporter took a picture, 'special patrol' sent to get them (Photo: Reuters)

A female Seam Line Border Guard spoke of the chase after illegal aliens: "In half an hour you can catch 30 people without any effort." Then comes the question of what should be done with those who were caught ~ including women, children, and elderly. "They would have them stand, and here's the well-known Border Guard song (in Arabic): 'One hummus, one bean, I love the Border Guard' ~ they would make them sing this. Sing, and jump. Just like they do with recruits… The same thing only much worse. And if one of them would laugh, or if they would decide someone was laughing, they would punch him. Why did you laugh? Smack… It could go on for hours, depending on how bored they are. A shift is eight hours long, the times must be passed somehow."

Most of the female soldiers say that they sensed there was a problem during their service, but did nothing.

Another female soldier's testimony, who served at the Erez checkpoint, indicates how violence was deeply rooted in the daily routine: "There was a procedure in which before you release a Palestinian back into the Strip ~ you take him inside the tent and beat him."

That was a procedure?

"Yes, together with the commanders."

How long did it last?

"Not very long; within 20 minutes they would be back in the base, but the soldiers would stop at the post to drink coffee and smoke cigarettes while the guys from the command post would beat them up."

This happened with every illegal alien?

"There weren't that's not something you do every day, but sort of a procedure. I don't know if they strictly enforced it each and every took me a while to realize that if I release an illegal alien on my end, by the time he gets back to Gaza he will go through hell... two or three hours can pass by the time he gets into the Strip. In the case of the kid, it was a whole night. That's insane, since it's a ten minute walk. They would stop them on their way; each soldier would give them a 'pet', including the commanders."


A female soldier in Sachlav Military Police unit, stationed in Hebron, recalled a Palestinian child that would systematically provoke the soldiers by hurling stones at them and other such actions. One time he even managed to scare a soldier who fell from his post and broke his leg.

Retaliation came soon after: "I don't know who or how, but I know that two of our soldiers put him in a jeep, and that two weeks later the kid was walking around with casts on both arms and legs…they talked about it in the unit quite a lot ~ about how they sat him down and put his hand on the chair and simply broke it right there on the chair."

Even small children did not escape arbitrary acts of violence, said a Border Guard female officer serving near the separation fence: "We caught a five-year-old…can't remember what he did…we were taking him back to the territories or something, and the officers just picked him up, slapped him around and put him in the jeep. The kid was crying and the officer next to me said 'don't cry' and started laughing at him. Finally the kid cracked a smile ~– and suddenly the officer gave him a punch in the stomach. Why? 'Don't laugh in my face' he said."

 'Palestinian beaten before being released to Strip' (Photo: AFP)

Was there also abuse of women?

"Yes" the same soldier replied. "Slaps, that kind of thing. Mainly slaps."

From men?

"Also. From whoever. It was mainly the female combat soldiers who beat people. There were two who really liked to beat people up. But also men, they had no problem slapping a woman around. If she screamed, they'd say, 'Shut it,' with another slap. A routine of violence. There were also those who didn't take part, but everyone knew it happened."

Sometimes an entire "production" was necessary to satisfy the violent urges. "There's a sense of violence," a border policewoman in the Jenin area said. "And yes, it's boring, so we'd create some action. We'd get on the radio, and say they threw stones at us, then someone would be arrested, they'd start investigating him… There was a policewoman, she was bored, so okay, she said they threw stones at her. They asked her who threw them. 'I don't know, two in grey shirts, I didn't manage to see them.' They catch two guys with grey shirts… beat them. Is it them? 'No, I don't think so.' Okay, a whole incident, people get beaten up. Nothing happened that day."

An education noncommissioned officer from the Border Guard took her officers for a Sunday of culture ~ a show in Tel Aviv. When they got back to their base in the Gaza Strip, they were appalled by the dissonance ~ one moment they're clapping in a theater, the next moment they're acting like beasts.

"Crossing the checkpoint, it's like another world… Palestinians walk with trolleys on the side of the road, with wagons, donkeys… so the Border Guards take a truck with the remains of food and start throwing it at them… cottage cheese, rotten vegetables… it was the most appalling thing I experienced in the territories."

The soldier said she tried to protest, but was silenced by the commanding officers. When she tried to go around them to higher authorities, she found a solution. "Almost immediately I got into an officers' course."


Some of the testimonies document incidents of vandalism of Palestinian property, and even theft. The same female soldier who recounted her time at the Erez checkpoint said, "Many times the soldiers would open the Palestinians' food."

And would they take it as well?

"Yes. They take things all the time at checkpoints in the territories. You'll never see a soldier without musabaha (chickpea paste similar to hummus). And that is something they give many times… They are so desperate to pass that they even sort of bribe the soldiers a little…"

A female Border Guard officer spoke of how Palestinian children would arrive at checkpoints with bags of toys for sale – and how the Border Guard would deal with them: "'Okay, throw the bag away. Oh, I need some batteries,', and they would take, they would take whatever they wanted."

What would they take?

"Toys, batteries, anything… cigarettes. I'm sure they took money as well, but I don't remember that specifically." She also spoke of one incident in which the looting was caught by a television camera, and the affair blew up. "Then, the company commander gathered us and reprimanded us: 'How did you not think they might see you?'" No one was punished: "Really, it was an atmosphere in which we were allowed to hit and humiliate."

Some of the gravest stories come from Hebron. A Sachlav female soldier spoke of one of the company's hobbies: Toy guns. "Those plastic pellets really hurt… we had a bunch of those… you're sitting on guard and 'tak' you fire at a kid, 'tak' ~ you fire at another kid."

She recounted an incident in which a Palestinian reporter took a picture of one of the soldiers aiming a gun at a boy's head. She said a "special patrol" went into Hebron, and came back with the pictures. The soldier said they either paid the reporter, or threatened her.

And the pictures were circulated in the company?

"No, they were destroyed the same day."

What did the company commander say about it?

"He said it's a good thing they didn't reach the IDF Spokesperson's Unit."

Company commander reprimands, but no one punished (Photo: Reuters)

Some of the testimonies from Hebron deal with the difficult position the soldiers find themselves in, between Palestinians and settlers ~ who they say are even harder to handle. Some of the female soldiers were shocked with the level of violence the settlers' children used against the Palestinians.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If your comment is not posted, it was deemed offensive.