The New York Times reports: A Palestinian teenager says that Israeli soldiers detained him for five days last month, forcing him to sleep blindfolded and handcuffed in his underwear and to search and dig for tunnels in Khuza’a, his village near Gaza’s eastern border, which was all but destroyed in the fighting.
The teenager, Ahmed Jamal Abu Raida, said the soldiers assumed he was connected to Hamas, the militant Islamist group that dominates Gaza, insulted him and Allah and threatened to sic a dog on him.
“My life was in danger,” Ahmed, 17, said in one of two lengthy interviews on Thursday and Friday. As soldiers made him walk in front of them through the neighborhood and check houses for tunnels, he added, “In every second, I was going to the unknown.”
His assertions, of actions that would violate both international law and a 2005 Israeli Supreme Court ruling, could not be independently corroborated; Ahmed’s father, Jamal Abu Raida, who held a senior position in Gaza’s Tourism Ministry under the Hamas-controlled government, said the family forgot to take photographs documenting any abuse in its happiness over the youth’s return, and disposed of the clothing he was given upon his release. The case was publicized Thursday by Defense for Children International-Palestine, an organization whose reports on abuses of Palestinian youths in West Bank military jails have been challenged by the Israeli authorities.
The Israeli military confirmed that troops had suspected Ahmed of being a militant and detained him during their ground operation in Gaza, noting his father’s affiliation with Hamas. A military spokesman promised several times to provide more details, but ultimately did not deal with the substance of the allegations, saying they had “been referred to the appropriate authorities for examination.”
A military statement also challenged the credibility of D.C.I.-Palestine, which accused the Israeli military of using Ahmed as a human shield by coercing him to engage in military actions. Throughout the current conflict, Israel has argued that Hamas uses Gaza residents as human shields by conducting militant activity in crowded public places.
“D.C.I.-Palestine’s report represents a perverse inversion of a truth in which Hamas persistently engages in the use of human shields, while the I.D.F.’s code of conduct rejects, in absolute terms, such behavior,” the military statement said, using the abbreviation for the Israel Defense Forces.
Israeli soldiers could not have used human shields because they are all good boys who follow the rules.
What kind of imbecile in the IDF sees fit to present this line of reasoning? Israeli arrogance, in its contempt for the intelligence of others, is itself a form of idiocy.
In 2010, Haaretz reported:
The southern command military court convicted two Israeli soldiers on Sunday of using human shields during Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, in the winter of 2008-2009.
The soldiers were convicted of offenses including inappropriate behavior and overstepping authority for ordering an 11-year-old Palestinian to search bags suspected to have been booby trapped.
The conviction is the first such conviction for what is termed in the Israel Defense Forces “neighbor procedure” – the use of human shields during searches and pursuits, which has been outlawed.
Note: this was the first conviction — not the first occurrence.
Moreover, when the report notes that the use of human shields has been outlawed, this alludes to two facts:
1. That the use of human shields was standard practice in the IDF, and
2. that even after Israel’s high court ruled that the use of human shields was illegal, the IDF tried to get the ruling overturned.
The fact that the IDF failed in that effort, does not infer that individual soldiers stopped viewing the use of human shields as serving their interests — merely that those engaging in this practice would understand that they would need to take greater effort to avoid getting caught.