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Following public outcry over publicized photos of military personnel posing alongside Palestinian detainees: HaMoked reminds that it had already alerted the military to this phenomenon in 2006

HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual appealed in November 2006 to the Military Advocate General (MAG), Brigadier General Avichai Mendelblit, alerting him to this severe and disgraceful phenomenon which has taken root among Israeli soldiers, designed to degrade detainees and exploit their plight for the sake of amusement.

In the appeal, HaMoked presented for example the yearbook for the November 2002 recruits of Regiment 93, which contained photographs of soldiers posing next to bound and blindfolded Palestinian detainees – and demanded the MAG initiate disciplinary proceedings against those responsible for taking the photographs, and circulate among personnel clear directives that absolutely forbid taking photographs of detainees.  

In reply, the MAG conceded that photographing detainees as a "souvenir" undoubtedly constitutes their objectification and is a violation of their human dignity, and that this "conduct contradicts IDF values". The letter indicated that one of the officers present at the shoot had admitted that "photographing detainees is routine". Nonetheless, the MAG did not see fit to prosecute any of those involved, and merely declared his intention to circulate a general directive censuring the photographing of detainees among military units.

It seems that despite the warning by  HaMoked and other human rights organizations, the military did nothing to uproot this grave and illegal phenomenon, and that only an international scandal that exposes the Israeli military to disgrace, can prompt it to take measures in an attempt to prevent such incidents from reoccurring. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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