US media scoundrels suppress it. So do European ones most often. Exceptions are rare. They prove the rule. London Guardian writer Harriet Sherwood headlined "Former Israeli soldiers disclose routing mistreatment of Palestinian children," saying:
BTS members described "beatings, intimidation, humiliation, verbal abuse, night-time arrests and injury."
Children most often face stone-throwing charges. Usually they did nothing. At most they caused no harm. They can face prison and torture either way. They're horrifically treated like adults. Sherwood gave graphic examples of soldier testimonies.
So did London Independent writer Donald MacIntyre. He headlined "Israel breaks silence over army abuses," saying:
As a teenager, "Hafez Rajabi was marked for life by his encounter with" Israeli soldiers. His scars bear testimony to their abuse. They terrorized and brutalized him. He was "certain that he was going to" be killed.
He's one of countless thousands. One boy was "beat(en) to a pulp." So were others. In custody they're tortured to confess even if innocent. British lawyers accused Israel of "serial breaches of international law in its military's handling of children in custody."
Kids young as 10 or younger are traumatized. Some never recover. Most are entirely innocent. Being Palestinian puts them at risk. Soldiers get habituated to violence. Commanders order it.
Dehumanization, brutalization, humiliation, and harassment are commonplace.Unaccountability is policy. Institutionalized cruelty goes unnoticed. So does murder and virtually every other type abuse.
Sunshine is the best disinfectant. BTS soldiers took full advantage. Others are encouraged to join them. Below are examples of what they said. Multiply each one by thousands if all soldiers spoke freely.
Growing up in Palestine means living with threatened state terror. Few kids escape it directly or indirectly. They face it growing up and as adults. Militarized occupation assures it.
A Hebron-based soldier said:
"You never know their names, you never talk with them, they always cry, sh*t in their pants".There are those annoying moments when you're on an arrest mission, and there's no room in the police station, so you just take the kid back with you, blindfold him, put him in a room and wait for the police to come and pick him up in the morning. He sits there like a dog ""
According to another soldier:
One kid lay on the ground "begging for his life. (He) was actually nine years old, I mean, a kid has to beg for his life? A loaded gun is pointed at him and he has to plead for mercy? This is something that scars him for life. But I think if we hadn't entered the village at that point, then stones would be thrown the next day and perhaps the next time someone would be wounded or killed as a result."
"We were sort of indifferent. It becomes a kind of habit. Patrols with beatings happened on a daily basis. We were really going at it. It was enough for you to give us a look that we didn't like, straight in the eye, and you'd be hit on the spot. We got to such a state and were so sick of being there."