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”We didn't know that what we did would haunt us in the future."
Al-Khalil, Nov 19, IRNA -- Dozens of Israeli occupation soldiers who
have killed Palestinian civilians while serving in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip are reportedly suffering from what is increasingly
described as 'the Intifada syndrome'.
According to the Israeli media, many of the soldiers who have been
discharged from army service are now facing 'personal crises' stemming
from their respective 'harsh' experiences in the West Bank and Gaza.
The Israeli newspaper, Ma'ariv said the scope of the phenomenon is
frightening as dozens of these soldiers are seeking a escape from
their problems by coming under the influence of drugs, including some
instances of heroine an cocaine.
Ma'ariv reported on November 15 that some soldiers tried to commit
suicide or hurt themselves.
The right-wing newspaper quoted one soldier who served in an
undercover unit as saying that, 'We didn't know that what we did would
haunt us in the future'.
"We went into houses, we clashed with the Palestinians, we killed
civilians, some of whom were innocent. You do the job and you don't
think it's going to hurt you in the future. You're told that that's
the task. Today I regret some of the things I did, and today, I stay
at home banging my head against the wall, I don't have a job and no
one talks to me."
A former paratrooper who has been under psychological treatment
for the past three months related the following:
"We'd go into houses. We'd see children and old people crying.
We shot their television sets. At first you don't pity, you do the job
But when you sit at home later you begin to understand that you've
done things that have hurt you emotionally."
The Hebrew newspaper pointed out that many of the soldiers
concerned became addicted to hard drugs.
"An officer from an elite unit, who fought against the
Palestinians for two years, went to Thailand. He tried to escape what
had happened to him in the territories, was unsuccessful and fell into
drugs. He returned to Israel and moved on to harder drugs, to cocaine.
He was treated with his parents by his side. A few days later, they
found him dead. No one knows to this day from what."
The Israeli army is aware of the phenomenon, but has a hard time
"We can't monitor this phenomenon. We can't treat every combatant
who gets caught up in drugs and emotional distress," said an army