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Israeli deputy mayor humiliates blindfolded Palestinians in photos shared online

Legal experts say sharing detention footage on Facebook and other sites could violate international law
Shimon Tobol's images were taken while he was doing military service in the West Bank (Facebook)

The deputy mayor of Be'er Sheva, a city in southern Israel, has posted photos of himself posing with handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees on Facebook.

Shimon Tobol took the images and footage while he was doing military service in the occupied West Bank from 7 October until the end of January 2024.

Tobol has served as one of the deputies of Mayor Rubik Danilovich for over two years.

The images and footage are accompanied by mocking captions.

In one post, an image of a blindfolded bearded man crouched on the floor is accompanied by the caption: “They say the bigger the beard, the higher the rank. This time, he had a really big beard. No apologies, no mercy, no stopping. We have started speaking fluent Arabic."

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In another post, where he is escorting a blindfolded arrestee, he wrote: “The people of Israel live. Every Nazi knew that his day would come. Our father, our king, avenge before our eyes the spilled blood of your servants."

The Be'er-Sheva municipality did not comment on the images but told Haartez that Tobol was not working for them at the time they were taken.

An Israeli military spokesperson said that the army prohibits photography of detainees for security reasons.

Tobol is one of many Israeli soldiers who have posted footage of themselves abusing Palestinian detainees.

BBC report on Israeli soldiers’ social media misconduct in February found that the sharing of detention images could violate international law, which prohibits subjecting detainees to "insults and public curiosity".

Although the Israeli military promised to act on the first report's findings, a subsequent report released last week - based on analysis of 45 photos and videos of Gazan detainees stripped, bound and blindfolded - revealed that this practice continues unabated.

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