Rights Groups Denounce Investigation of Breaking the Silence Spokesman

A public reading of Breaking the Silence testimonies in Tel Aviv in June, 2014. (Photo: Oren Ziv, Activestills.org, file)

Amid an ongoing investigation of a spokesman for ‘Breaking the Silence’ over a testimony in which he claimed to have seriously assaulted a Palestinian during his service with the Israeli army, a number of Israeli human rights organisations have denounced the case as a cynical attempt to “intimidate and silence critics of the occupation.”

Dean Issacharoff is currently under investigation in light of testimony of the assault he provided for Breaking the Silence, a group that provides testimonies of Israeli soldiers and veterans recounting their experiences serving in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Breaking the Silence was previously accused of “treason” in March, for releasing accounts by soldiers reportedly containing classified information — a charge the group has consistently denied.

After the Israeli attorney general demanded the group release the identity of soldiers who gave accounts of human rights abuses and war crimes committed in the occupied territory, Breaking the Silence said the move was a government attempt to shut down the organisation and prevent it from continuing its work, which is dependent on maintaining the anonymity of soldiers.

However, rights groups have repeatedly accused Israeli forces supporting a shoot-to-kill policy against Palestinians, while Human Rights Watch has meanwhile documented “numerous statements” made by senior Israeli politicians and religious figures “calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life.”

(Maan, PC, Social Media)

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