Vets expose Israel war crimes in book

A Palestinian youth is arrested by Israeli soldiers during a
protest in the occupied West Bank on October 23, 2010.

A number of former Israeli soldiers have written a book about how Tel Aviv authorized the military to commit atrocities on Palestinian territories.

Occupation of the Territories, which will hit the shelves on December 21, has been compiled on the initiative of the Israeli whistleblower Breaking the Silence, British newspaper The Independent reported on Sunday. 

The group, which obtains testimonies from current and former servicemen on the military's acts of aggression, has used the publication for further revelation, this time naming the testifiers and including their pictures for boosted validity. 

The book's introduction calls the work an account of "the principles and consequences of Israeli policy in the [Palestinian] territories." 

In the book, a former trooper describes what he overheard about his fellow combatants' blowing up the door to a Palestinian home at the same time that a female resident attempted to answer their knock. 

"Her limbs were smeared on the wall…," the soldier recalls having heard the others saying. "And then her kids came and saw her. I heard it during dinner after the operation, someone said it was funny, and they cracked up from the situation that the kids saw their mother smeared on the wall..." 

A same incident happened to Wafer Shaker al-Daghma, a Palestinian UN schoolteacher in the east of the southern city of Khan Younis. Her daughter said that, following the explosion, she had come and "saw a bit of my mother's clothes. She was not moving. I did not see her head." 

An English translation of the book is expected to be released in 2012. 

Breaking the Silence is known for its gleaning eye-opening testimonies of 30 troopers, enlisted for Israel's December 2008-January 2009 war on Gaza, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians. 

The book also clarifies some military euphemisms for acts of violence against the Palestinians. The Israeli forces use 'prevention' for almost every form of military action and 'separation' for severance of Palestinians not only from Israelis but also from other Palestinians, it says. 

It also calls 'law enforcement' the dual legal regime in the occupied West Bank, whereby Palestinians are subject to military rule and courts while Israeli settlers -- whom it terms as effectively allies of the military -- are answerable to civilian courts. 


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