Israeli Ministers to Back a Bill Criminalizing Filming of Soldiers

Israeli soldiers being filmed as they open fire at protesters in the West Bank. (Photo: Video capture)

Israeli ministers on Sunday are set to back a bill to criminalize the filming of Israeli soldiers in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The legislation would see penalties of up to five years in jail for anyone caught filming or publishing video footage of Israeli army activity with the purpose of damaging the “soldiers’ spirit”,  The Times of Israel reported.

Publishing video footage with the intention of “harming state security” could carry a ten-year prison sentence.

The bill was sponsored by the Yisrael Beintenu party and is backed by Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

It is expected to gain the backing of other ministers at the Ministerial Committee for Legislation’s meeting on Sunday.

The bill was first proposed in April after video footage was circulated showing an Israeli sniper cheering after shooting a Palestinian in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem said:

“If the government is embarrassed over the occupation, it should work to bring it to an end. In any case, visual footage of life under occupation will continue. This is a fact of life that no idiotic proposed bill will change.”

In recent years, several incidents of Israeli soldiers using excessive force have been captured on video.

In 2016, Israeli soldier Elor Azaria was filmed executing a wounded Palestinian assailant in Hebron. The soldier was released in May after serving nine months behind bars – half his original sentence.

(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)

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1 Comment

  1. So much for freedom of the press and freedom in general. Israel can’t bear the weight of photographic evidence of its crimes. But, if photos are illegal, then the standard of evidence has to adjust accordingly, that is, testimony should then weigh more heavily in public opinion both in Israel and the world.

    Have to say — the law against filming soldiers is an admission of Israeli guilt, an admission that what they do cannot bear the light of day, that nobody would tolerate such behavior if it were visible and recorded. It is a confession and the ICC must understand this as such.

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