Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Israel has suspended a group of its soldiers after video emerged of Israeli troops reading out Jewish prayers at a mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

In video circulating on social media on Thursday, soldiers are seen inside the mosque, with one using a microphone to read a Jewish prayer in the style of an Islamic call to prayer.

A song about banishing darkness, associated with the current Jewish festival of Hanukkah, is heard sung in Hebrew through a loudspeaker in a minaret.

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The person filming laughs and joins in with the song.

In another, a soldier declares: “In the name of God, the merciful. Here is the spokesperson of the IDF.

“For the residents of the camp, the story is over, we will not allow the presence of armed men inside the camp.

“The future will be clean, we want you to live with dignity in the camp, there is no power beyond the power of Allah,” the soldier adds.

Both videos show soldiers in the mosque with their boots on, where footwear is forbidden.

The Palestinian foreign ministry condemned what it said was a mockery of the religious sanctum, warning it would increase religious tension.

The soldiers were immediately removed from operational activity, the IDF said.

Israeli military vehicles in Jenin, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank

The IDF’s international spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht, said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the troops “acted against IDF codes of conduct within a religious establishment” and “were immediately removed from operational activity”.

Their behaviour, he said, “stands in complete opposition to the values ​​of the IDF, the soldiers will be disciplined accordingly”.

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The videos were filmed during Israeli raids on Jenin on Thursday.

At least a dozen people were killed in the raids, Palestinian authorities said, calling the attacks a “dangerous escalation”.
Israel said it captured dozens of militants.

At least 18,400 Palestinians have died since Hamas launched its attack on 7 October, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry has said.

At least 1,300 Israelis have died, while at least 117 Israeli soldiers have been killed.

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