Israel Shoots Palestinian Children

Tomer Rot, former Israeli soldier: “I understood the reality we are creating … because there’s an entire population, that’s stepped on, pissed on, trampled on … and it’s sad.

How the Israeli army treats Palestinian children

Israeli soldiers tell how they routinely harass Palestinian families and sometimes shoot children involved in protests. Their testimony was given to campaigning group Breaking the Silence. Video by Ruth Pollard.

The Israel Defence Forces’ arbitrary use of violence against Palestinian children, including forcing them to act as human shields in military operations, has been exposed by veteran soldiers in detailed statements chronicling dozens of brutal incidents.

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Breaking the Silence is limited in its discourse. As illustrated in the video below, Breaking the Silence’s activity is based on the ABSOLUTE REFUSAL TO BREAK THE SILENCE as well as PROTECT those who perpetrated crimes, sometimes as serious as war-crimes.

we are here to call on people to take responsibility

you and the people around you in the city

on the actions that the army is doing today, now, tonight

tonight, forces will enter Hebron into houses

and will perform activities

to quote the language of the military order:

“disrupting of daily life in the neighborhood”

in order to create that feeling of the oppressed, that Nadav referred to earlier

if we seek to resolve this within the army

by making people feel uneasy so they won’t come, or will be punished at the lower ranks

it’s really not…

human history shows that things do not change in this manner

and that this is not what’s going to end the military control

even if Daniel would have gone all the way and said no

the military control over Hebron would not have ended

and i think that the question we ought to ask ourselves is

for each one of us, what is their own responsibility?

so I return the question back to you

following on the previous couple of questions

I’d like to ask the organization and specifically those

who took testimonies from the massacre that took place in Gaza

and I’d also like to ask whether you are taking responsibility?

those people who are active in the organization

from reading of the testimonies

or more precisely, those stories

removed of facts, removed of names

dates, places, chain of command,

names of Palestinians

from reading these stories

it seems as though crimes clearly took place

and a considerable number of which may be regarded as war crimes

I would like to know why do you choose

to conceal the facts

to cover up the crimes

and even to tamper with evidence

and why don’t you go to the authorities?

sorry, I will only add that if you say that

if you will not participate in protecting these criminals

you will not receive any more testimonies

then this is not a valid argument

since you yourselves are participating in such a crime

ok, just in order to explain the position of Breaking the Silence

and also so that it won’t be a back and forth discussion

about Gaza and in general, also Hebron

first of all a crime of war

and the whole discussion is a legal discourse

thanks. this is a legal discourse

meaning a crime of war is not something a civilian can decide on

but something that the authorities decide on

Breaking the Silence chose to take a stand

that we know is a controversial one and aware of its problems

that we act as a journalistic organization

also on the technical level

we have a journalistic status

it means, for example, that soldiers are not allowed to talk to us

since they’re not allowed to talk to journalists

so they make another offence when approaching us

and when they expose themselves they also make this offence


along with that we decided that our political activity

and we certainly see Breaking the Silence as having a political activity

our political activity of diseminating information is a journalistic activity

and as much as it is possible to ask every journalist

whether they are not complicit in crime

when they receive a testimony from a senior political source

or from a senior military source

every journalist speaking to someone who remains anonoymous

is actually complicit in crime

we took a decision that this is the best way to get the information outside

but there is also a second part to this answer

since we have to explain why we took this decision

we, and again, coming from our political perspective

that we understand others may disagree with

we don’t know which authority concerns us

when such a thing is mentioned

for example, there are people sitting on stage here

testifying for themsleves

if the military investigation uniit would have liked to sit here they would have

if the state wanted to be sitting here it would have

it doesn’t want to sit here

since they understand that actually judging us is judging themselves and the system

so this is for the Israeli authorities

as for the international authorities

first of all we don’t see it as something that’s necessarily positive

neither positive nor negative

it’s simply stepping out of the country

but also there, there is no technical place that one could go to

it’s not that the court in Hague sits there

and says: “if we only had these Breaking the Silence testimonies, we would have been able to wrap up the whole case”

so technically there’s nothing really to be done with that

it sounds like a very practical claim

until you start disintegrating it and technically

there isn’t much to be done in the legal arena

furthermore, we know that in the legal arena

there have been many attempts and from our political perspective they have failed

and this is why

we are aware of these issues

i’d also like to say about things that have been said

which is universally true, that rookie soldiers have

less of a criminal responsibility than commanders

we carry a criminal liability

these specific persons expose it

and for exposing it they know it and understand it

we understand it daily

all the Breaking the Silence people who speak in public

we understand that we have criminal liability

and some of us, I can say for myself, will be happy if they come and try me

I think it’s important to be said

so in a nutshell, when you build the authority that will try me

I will also come with Michael

seriously, I say it in jest but according to international law

according to my moral values

I committed crimes and would be happy that the political situation will allow me to pay the price

it is irrelevant today

Related Links

Defence for Children International – Palestine
Israel breaks silence over army abuses