The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, B’Tselem, and Physicians for Human Rights, in Israel (PHR), wrote on Thursday to the Israeli army Judge Advocate General, and demanded the Police to investigate the violation of the dignity of the detainees in the Israeli military operation in Jericho.
In the course of the operation, Israeli soldiers forced the detainees to undress and led them out clad only in their underwear.
Images of the naked detainees were broadcast in the electronic media, and published widely in the press in Israel and throughout the world.
In testimonies given to B’Tselem, detainees stressed the humiliation they felt as a result of their naked images appearing in the media.
In their letter to the JAG, Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit, the organizations stated that article 27 of the 4th Geneva Convention entitles detainees to respectful treatment, and that the forces holding them were obligated to protect them from, among other things, "public curiosity".
Even if the security considerations behind the decision to strip the detainees were legitimate, these considerations do not justify parading the detainees in front of the media.
It was the duty of the army to take proactive steps to conceal the detainees from the cameras. Since no action of this kind was taken – without any security justification and despite the fact that such action was possible – Israel has violated its obligation under Article 27 of the 4th Geneva Convention.