A former Israeli Air Force pilot has described the Israeli government and army as “terrorist organisations” run by “war criminals.” According to a report in The Middle East Monitor (MEMO), Yonatan Shapira has confessed that the Israeli army is a terrorism organization.
Captain Shapira who had resigned from the Israeli army in 2003 at the height of the Palestinian Second Intifada explained in an exclusive interview with Anadolu News Agency why he realized after joining the army that he was “part of a terrorist organisation”.
Israeli warplanes bombing targets in the heavily populated areas of the Gaza Strip just now.
More than 20 Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli warplanes in past 48 hours. pic.twitter.com/i3NI3Iav6B
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) May 11, 2021
“I realised during the Second Intifada what the Israeli Air Force and Israeli military are doing are war crimes, terrorising a population of millions of Palestinians. When I realised that, I decided to not just leave but to organise other pilots that will publicly refuse to take part in these crimes,” he told The MEMO.
“As a child in Israel, you are being brought up in very strong Zionist militaristic education. You don’t know almost anything about Palestine, you don’t know about the 1948 Nakba, you don’t know about ongoing oppression,” Shapira said.
Ever since leaving the Israeli army, Shapira has launched a campaign that encouraged other military members to disobey orders to attack Palestinians.
The campaign has led 27 other army pilots to be discharged from their posts in the Israeli Air Force since 2003.
In the last week, Israeli warplanes have waged hundreds of airstrikes against the Palestinian civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip, killing at least 188 Palestinians including 55 children and 33 women and wounding 1,230 people.
Notably, Human Rights Watch (HRW), an acclaimed international rights group, has claimed in its latest report that the “Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians,” and these “deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”