(03-24) 04:00 PDT Jerusalem
Israel’s military condemned soldiers for wearing T-shirts of a pregnant woman in a rifle’s cross-hairs with the slogan “1 Shot 2 Kills,” and another of a gun-toting child with the words, “The smaller they are, the harder it is.”
The T-shirts were worn by some Israeli Defense Force soldiers to mark the end of basic training and other military courses, the newspaper Haaretz said.
The appearance of the T-shirts followed allegations of misconduct by Israeli troops during the three-week Gaza war. Palestinian officials say about 1,400 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians. Thirteen Israelis died, three of them civilians.
The army said it would not tolerate the T-shirts and would take disciplinary action against the soldiers involved, although it was not clear how many wore the shirts or how widely they were distributed.
The military sought to portray the T-shirts as tasteless humor and condemned the soldiers involved, saying in a statement that the shirts “are not in accordance with IDF values.”
They were not manufactured or sanctioned by the military.
The shirts’ existence was first reported Friday by Haaretz and later on broadcasts by Israeli radio and television.
Haaretz showed pictures of five shirts and said they were made at the unit level – indicating that they were made for small numbers of troops, perhaps several dozen at a time. It said they were worn by an unknown number of enlisted men in different units. The Tel Aviv factory that made many of the shirts, Adiv, refused to comment.
Few in the Palestinian territories appeared to be aware of the T-shirts. In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said it “reflects the brutal mentality among the Zionist soldiers and the Zionist society.”
Hamas-controlled media consistently glorify attacks on Israelis, and cartoons in Palestinian newspapers frequently use anti-Semitic images of Jews as hook-nosed, black-hatted characters.
Hamas also mocked Israeli suffering, staging a play about its capture of an Israeli soldier in which it makes fun of the serviceman crying for his mother and father.
Israel’s military has come under increasing scrutiny after soldiers alleged that some troops opened fire hastily and killed Palestinian civilians during the Gaza war, including children, possibly because they believed they would not be held accountable under relaxed open-fire regulations. The military has ordered a criminal inquiry into soldiers’ accounts published in a military institute’s newsletter.
On Monday, the military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, defended his troops.
“I tell you that this is a moral and ideological army. I have no doubt that exceptional events will be dealt with,” Ashkenazi told new recruits. Gaza “is a complex atmosphere that includes civilians, and we took every measure possible to reduce harm to the innocent.”
The Gaza offensive, launched to end years of rocket fire at Israeli towns, ended Jan. 18.
Ref: Sf gate