Former soldiers in the Israel Defence Forces who served in the occupied Palestinian territories have revealed that the abuse of Palestinian children is a "routine exercise" which occurs even when the security situation is relatively calm.
Breaking the Silence is a group of former IDF soldiers who have broken ranks to reveal the unacceptable practices of the military. On Sunday they published more than 30 witness statements in English which noted that physical violence has been used against very young children, sometimes arbitrarily. The witnesses explain that the Palestinian minors, sometimes less than 10 years old, are treated in such a way "that ignores their young ages".
The IDF claims that Breaking the Silence has not provided it with enough basic information or evidence to allow it to investigate the allegations.
"By collecting witnesses over a long period of time and refusing to provide additional information," said an army statement, "the institution [Breaking the Silence] proves its real intentions; instead of facilitating the investigations, the organisation seeks to spread negative propaganda against the Israeli army and its soldiers."
Source: Al-Quds El-Arabi