JERUSALEM – Israel's military condemned on Monday T-shirts worn by soldiers that depict scenes of violence against Palestinians as the army faces increasing domestic criticism over its conduct during the recent Gaza war.
The T-shirts, ordered by troops to mark the end of basic training and other military courses, were worn by a number of enlisted men in different units, the daily Haaretz newspaper reported. They were not made or sanctioned by the military.
One depicts a child in the cross-hairs of a rifle with the slogan, "The smaller they are, the harder it is," said one of T-shirts shown in Haaretz. Another shows a pregnant woman in the cross-hairs and the words "1 Shot 2 Kills." Others depict a soldier blowing up a mosque and Palestinian women weeping over a gravestone.
The Tel Aviv factory that made many of the shirts, Adiv, refused to comment.
The shirts "are not in accordance with IDF values and are simply tasteless," the army said in a statement. "This type of humor is unbecoming and should be condemned."
The statement said disciplinary action would be taken against troops wearing the T-shirts.
The Israeli military has been facing increased criticism at home for its conduct in Gaza in the aftermath of published testimony from several unidentified soldiers released last week.
The soldiers' testimony described troops killing Palestinian civilians, including children, by hastily opening fire under relaxed rules of engagement. The soldiers also reported the wanton destruction of civilian property.
The three-week Gaza offensive, launched to end years of rocket fire at Israeli towns, ended on Jan. 18. According to Palestinian officials, around 1,400 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians. Thirteen Israelis died, three of them civilians.