Video shows Israeli soldiers burning books in Gaza, IDF opens investigation

Video shows Israeli soldiers burning books in Gaza, IDF opens investigation
Video shows Israeli soldiers burning books in Gaza, IDF opens investigation

The Israeli army said Friday it had opened an investigation after a photo and video were posted on social media showing what appears to be Israeli soldiers burning books in Gaza, and possibly a copy of the Koran.

“An investigation has been opened by the criminal unit of the military police,” the army told AFP in response to a question about this photo. “The behavior in the video is not consistent with the values” of the Israeli army, which says it “respects all religions” and “categorically condemns this type of behavior.”

A viral video, the authenticity of which AFP had not yet been able to verify on Friday evening, shows a soldier wearing fatigues similar to those used in the Israeli army and throwing a book which could be a copy of the Koran into a fire. Another photo widely shared online shows what appears to be an Israeli soldier posing in front of burning books in Gaza. The video and the photo were broadcast on Israeli television.

A reporter for the investigative and fact-checking site Bellingcat determined that the book-laden shelves that appear in the background of the photo match those of the Al-Aqsa University library in Gaza.

These incidents “raised suspicions of mistreatment of detainees”

Since the start of the war in Gaza, sparked by the Hamas attack on October 7, Israeli soldiers have been accused of posting degrading content towards Palestinian civilians on their personal social media accounts. In February, the army announced the opening of a criminal investigation into several incidents of alleged misconduct by soldiers during the war.

These incidents “raised suspicions of mistreatment of detainees, deaths of detainees, looting and illegal use of force,” army general counsel Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi said at the time. .

The October 7 attack, perpetrated by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, resulted in the death of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data. Of the 252 people taken as hostages on October 7, 124 are still being held in Gaza, including 37 dead, according to the army.

In response to the attack, the Israeli army launched a devastating offensive in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the European Union and the United States in particular, took power in 2007. At least 35,800 Palestinians, mostly civilians, died in this offensive, according to data from the Health Ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

-

-

NEXT Tabaski 2024: there will be no shortage of sheep in Cameroon