Israel army bans t-shirts mocking attacks on Palestinians

JERUSALEM Wed Apr 1, 2009 2:37pm BST

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's military said on Wednesday it had banned soldiers from making and wearing t-shirts encouraging violence against Palestinians.

One of the t-shirts has a rifle sight aimed at a pregnant Palestinian with the slogan "1 shot, 2 kills," according to a report last month in the Haaretz newspaper.

A spokesman for the military called the shirts "simply tasteless," and said the armed forces' chief educational officer had instructed commanders to ensure soldiers did not create or wear the items and to discipline those who disobeyed.

Haaretz said soldiers graduating from a snipers' course designed the t-shirts with the gun sight on the pregnant woman and printed them privately. The paper described examples of soldiers in other units printing shirts with their own slogans.

In February, a group of Israeli soldiers alleged that some of their comrades shot Palestinian civilians during the 22-day Gaza offensive that Israel launched on December 27. Israeli military investigators said Monday the soldiers had passed on unsubstantiated rumours.

Israel says many more Islamist fighters than Palestinian civilians were killed during the war in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip than quoted in Palestinian figures.

The army reports 295 civilians were among 1,116 Palestinians killed between December 27 and January 18.

Palestinian researchers say the total death toll of 1,417 includes 926 civilians.

(Writing by Ari Rabinovitch and Ori Lewis; Editing by Stephen Wood)

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