The Israeli army said it suspended soldiers who attacked the Jenin mosque, one of the sources of violence in the occupied West Bank, and sang Hebrew songs typical of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and other Jewish prayers.
“The soldiers were immediately withdrawn from operational activity, after receiving the videos and after a first inspection of the incident by the commanders,” said a military statement about the videos which went viral today and uploaded to the networks social services by the military themselves.
According to the army, the soldiers’ behavior “is serious and is in complete contrast to the values of the Israel Defense Forces” and they will be subject to “disciplinary measures.”
“During an Israeli Defense Forces operational activity near a mosque in Jenin, soldiers acted against codes of conduct within a religious establishment,” the statement said.
Four Palestinians, including a minor, died this Thursday in Jenin during a violent raid by Israeli troops, which has intensified since the start of the war in Gaza against Hamas.
Jenin, a stronghold of the Palestinian militant movement in the occupied West Bank, has suffered for three consecutive days from violent Israeli raids aimed at arresting “terrorism suspects”, which have included drone attacks. In three days, twelve Palestinians died, including four minors, and around fifty were injured.
A nightmarish year
So far this year, 494 Palestinians have died in the occupied West Bank in violent incidents with Israel, the highest number since 2002, at the height of the violence of the Second Intifada (2000-05), most of them militiamen during armed clashes with Israel. soldiers and attackers, but also civilians, including more than a hundred minors.
At the same time, the area has seen the proliferation of new Palestinian armed groups, which are carrying out more and more attacks and have caused 41 deaths on the Israeli side, most of them settlers, five minors and seven in uniform.
Since the start of the war in Gaza, 286 Palestinians have died in the West Bank due to episodes of violence with Israel, more than half of the year’s total, including nine murdered by settlers.