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7 Oct, 2010 14:45

Expert calls for end to Israeli Army’s impunity

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has slammed the country's defense force for a disgraceful video uploaded to YouTube.

The footage shows a soldier of the Israeli Defense Forces, humiliating a blindfolded Palestinian woman.

Netanyahu has said that the video tarnishes the image of the IDF, which he called one of the most moral armies in the world.

However, according to Bana Shoughry-Badarne from the Public Committee against Torture in Israel, this epithet is not well-deserved. The organization gets dozens of complaints every year, ranging from assaults similar to the one shown in the video and to actual cases of torture.

“The problem is not only that it’s not the most moral army in the world, but that there’s a culture of impunity, when such communications, such crimes, are not actually convicted by the army or by other authorities,” Shoughry-Badarne explained.

All the cases opened against the Israeli security forces or the IDF since 2008 have been closed without investigation or stopped, she said.

“It’s about time for the international community to intervene, to make it clear to the Israeli security authorities that no one is above the law, and that the absolute prohibition against torture, ill-treatment and humiliation is absolute,” she said.

The situation gets even worse as the victims of such assaults usually think complaints are useless and fear penalties if they submit a complaint against the army, she added.