Vandalism of Palestinian homes by Israeli soldiers is nothing new. Every time there’s an invasion into Palestinian territory, stories and photos emerge of the destruction and filth left behind. The recent Gaza invasion was no exception. Amira Hass has written about the horrible conditions Palestinians found in their homes when they were allowed back and, in one case, the ordeal a group of elderly people had to endure.
Hass writes about one incident in which Israeli soldiers confined five people, ranging from age 55 to a woman who is probably 85 or 90, to a room in a house. They were not allowed to use the restroom and were forced to urinate in plastic containers. The soldiers also appropriately spray painted “jail” on the wall where they confined these people. They also sketched a map of the area-X marked the spot of the home they were in-and they even wrote what brigade they belonged to.
When the troops pulled out and the Gazans who took refuge wherever they could were eventually allowed to return to their homes, many found feces piled on the floor and smeared on their walls. Soldiers had also urinated on clothes and in the washing machines; for good measure, I guess. Residents found their furniture all ripped up, their computers destroyed, their dishes broken and their clothes torn up.
The vandalism wasn’t just limited to people’s homes. The soldiers also broke into grocery stores and helped themselves to whatever they wanted. Although, they were some soldiers who were kind enough to pass out candy to the children. They used some of those children as human shields when they were giving it out. How ironic.
I wonder what goes through the minds of the these soldiers as they destroy Palestinian property. Not all Israeli soldiers are guilty of these acts but certainly there are many who are. Why do they do it? Do they feel they’re doing their patriotic duty by taking a crap in some room of a Palestinian house they’re using as cover? That couldn’t possibly be the case. Were they raised by barbarians? Some might answer yes to that question but I think the answer is no. I guess the only possible answer for why they do it is that they just simply take pleasure in destroying, regardless of how savage and ruthless, anything and everything belonging to Palestinians.
Hass writes that there were books of Psalms left behind and markings on cupboards differentiating meat and diary products. The soldiers stayed kosher. So what I don’t understand is how could these soldiers be men of faith, and yet still do these horrible things? I mean, these are people’s homes we’re talking about. These are where families live their modest lives. These are human beings! How these soldiers justify doing these inhumane acts is beyond me. The simple truth is there is no justification.
The IDF says they warned their soldiers not to harm personal property unless it was needed for operational purposes. I really don’t think peeing in a washing machine was necessary for an operation. And regarding the graffiti left on the walls, the IDF says that goes against the soldiers’ “values and norms.” Really? So why does it happen time and again? Unfortunately, nothing will change. When the next invasion comes around (and who really doubts that it won’t?) the same vandalism will occur and the IDF won’t do a damn thing about it.
I wonder if Hillary Clinton finds these acts “unhelpful” as well.