The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday suspended a soldier for cursing at a member of Breaking the Silence, a non-governmental organization that collects and publicizes mostly anonymous testimony by former Israeli combat soldiers about alleged human rights violations against Palestinians.
The incident occurred in the flashpoint West Bank City of Hebron, where Breaking the Silence activists lead tours for Israeli and international groups.
In a video, the soldier can be heard hurling a stream of invectives at an activist for the left-wing group, which leads tours in the flashpoint West Bank city.
“You’re a traitor to the country and you’re son of a whore, son of a bitch. I wish you get cancer all over your body,” the soldier is heard saying.
“Come on, get away from my post, fuck off,” he adds.
After approaching the activist — who can be heard saying on the phone that he was being blocked — and yelling at him to leave, the soldier continued to curse him.
“Antisemite, neo-Nazi,” he railed.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) November 16, 2022
Breaking the Silence’s work generally riles Israelis and the organization has often locked horns with the Israeli political and military brass. Its critics have denounced its reports as dishonest, inaccurate, and part of an advocacy campaign intended to harm Israel’s image overseas.
The group and its supporters say it performs a vital service in exposing to the Israeli public the realities faced by young Israeli soldiers who have to control a civilian Palestinian population on a daily basis.
The Israeli military said it was investigating the incident with the soldier in Hebron and vowed that it would “be dealt with severely.” It later said the soldier was being pulled from operational duty until the probe is complete.
“The behavior of the soldier that is seen in the video is unacceptable and against what is expected of an IDF warrior,” a military statement said.
The soldier can be seen in the video wearing a purple beret of the Givati infantry brigade, three of whose troops were also suspended last month over an assault on a Palestinian man.
That case is being investigated by the Military Police and was also condemned by IDF chief Aviv Kohavi.