Recent videos circulating online, showing Israeli soldiers engaging in disrespectful and destructive behavior in Gaza, have added to the growing international concern about the Israeli Defense Forces' (IDF) conduct in the region.
These incidents occur amidst a backdrop of a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where the risk of starvation is alarmingly high.
Disturbing Incidents Captured on Video
One video reviewed by CNN features an Israeli soldier looking into the camera before setting a pile of food supplies on fire in Shejaiya, a neighborhood in Gaza City.
His words, “We turn on the light against this dark place and burn it until there is no trace of this whole place,” underscore the gravity of the act, especially given the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.Other videos show various acts of misconduct by IDF soldiers: a soldier rummaging through a woman’s wardrobe and making derogatory comments, vandalism of a shop in Jabalya, and soldiers destroying civilian cars and making light of the lack of water supply in a private home.
A photo circulating online shows a soldier standing next to a wall in Gaza with a Hebrew sign that says: “Instead of erasing graffiti, let us erase Gaza”.
IDF's Response and International Reaction
The IDF, when asked by CNN about these videos, did not dispute their authenticity, location, or the involvement of IDF soldiers.
The IDF condemned the behavior shown in the videos, stating it does not align with its rules, and announced that disciplinary measures would be taken against the soldiers involved. However, details about these measures were not provided upon further inquiry.
“The IDF has taken action and will continue acting to identify misconduct and behavior that does not align with the expected morals and values of IDF soldiers,” it said in a statement sent to CNN.These incidents have intensified the international outcry over the IDF’s conduct during the military offensive against Hamas in Gaza.
According to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza, 18,412 people have been killed in Israeli attacks since the start of the war. The IDF has reported striking more than 22,000 targets in Gaza in the first six weeks of the conflict.