After news agency AFP and stock photo agency Getty Images publish photos showing evidence of vandalism left behind in a school in the Gaza Strip which was used by IDF soldiers, the Israeli military responds by saying that while it “cannot determine if the photos are authentic,” the vandalism should be strongly condemned if they are.
“If soldiers were behind this serious incident, the IDF strongly condemns it. Vandalistic acts contradict the moral code of the Israel Defense Forces,” the military tells The Times of Israel.
The photos, which are said to have been taken by photographer Marco Longari in the Beit Hanoun High School for Girls after it was vacated by IDF soldiers who had used it as a base during Operation Protective Edge, show racist and anti-Hamas messages, as well as destruction and neglect.
Although the IDF says it cannot confirm its soldiers left the school in that condition, detailed military instructions in Hebrew, intricate chalk drawings of the insignia of various army units, and Stars of David rendered in chalk can be seen on the classroom boards alongside the hateful messages.
The messages, written in two languages, include “Fuck all the Arabs” (in English), “We will fuck you” (in Hebrew), “Fuck Hamas” (in English), “Revenge!” (in Hebrew), “No Hamas=Peace” (in English), and “You will be fucked here if you come again. Don’t forget it’s time for you to die” (in English).
A defaced portrait of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is also found in one of the classrooms.