Videos of Israeli soldiers in Gaza may violate international law, according to experts

Legal experts contend that Israeli soldiers may have violated international law when they recorded and posted online footage of detained Palestinians who were naked, cuffed, and wearing blindfolds. According to international law, prisoners cannot be subjected to needless humiliation or public curiosity. Hundreds of recordings that Israeli soldiers in Gaza have publicly shared since November 2023 were examined by BBC Verify. We confirmed eight inmates who were present. Videos such as these do not reflect the values of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which say they have terminated the service of one of the reservists we identified. It did not reply to any more queries for information.


Leading UN advisor to international criminal tribunals, Dr. Mark Ellis, expressed concern that the Israeli troops’ footage we showed him would go beyond accepted guidelines for treating prisoners of war. The majority of the videos that we examined feature combat situations and soldiers searching through deserted homes. In one video, soldiers can be seen firing weapons while wearing dinosaur costumes. In another, they are seen putting up a pizzeria in a Palestinian home that is now unoccupied. However, we discovered eight that have been publicly posted and filmed, which legal experts claim demonstrate the mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners.


All of these were posted by anonymous males who are or were serving in the armed forces. By examining a photo of a Palestinian prisoner that was extensively circulated online earlier last week, we were able to unearth one account. It originated from Israeli soldier Yossi Gamzoo Letova’s YouTube account, according to reverse image search engines. Since early December, he has posted several videos from Gaza, including images of his unit, which he describes as Granite Battalion 932, a unit of the Nahal Brigade of the IDF.

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