Israeli Army T-Shirts Mock Gaza Killings
Friday, March 20 03:45 pm
The Israeli army is at the centre of a second controversy over the moral conduct of its soldiers in as many days.
The revelations centre on t-shirt designs made for soldiers that make light of shooting pregnant Palestinian mothers and children and include images of dead babies and destroyed mosques.
The t-shirts were printed for Israeli soldiers at the end of periods of deployment or training courses and were discovered by Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
One, printed for a platoon of Israeli snipers depicts an armed Palestinian pregnant women caught in the crosshairs of a rifle, with the disturbing caption in English: "1 shot 2 kills".
Another depicts a child carrying a gun also in the centre of a target.
"The smaller, the harder," read the words on the t-shirt.
According to a soldier interviewed by the newspaper, the message has a double meaning: "It's a kid, so you've got a little more of a problem, morally and also the target is smaller."
Another shows an Israeli soldier blowing up a mosque and reads "Only God forgives".
Above a ninja figure, yet another shirt bears the slogan "Won't chill until I confirm a kill".
The revelations, coming so soon after Israel's offensive in Gaza in which hundreds of civilians were killed - many of them women and children - are causing outrage.
Perhaps the most shocking design shows a Palestinian mother weeping next to her dead baby's grave, also in the crosshairs of a rifle.
It suggests it would have been better if the child had never been born, with the slogan "Better use Durex".
The controversy follows more revelations by other soldiers about abuses and the shooting of civilians during Israel's offensive during the Gaza offensive.
Ex-soldier and campaigner with Breaking The Silence, Michael Maniken, told Sky News Online this week's revelations suggest a pattern of immoral conduct in the army.
"The army keeps on saying we're talking about a few rotten apples but it seems the army doesn't understand there's a norm in this kind of action," he explained.
"We're hearing about this time and time again and the army seems disconnected from reality."
A spokesman for the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) told Sky News Online, the t-shirts were printed on the private initiative of the soldiers and their designs "are not in accordance with IDF values and are simply tasteless. This type of humour is unacceptable and should be condemned".