Occupation turning regime troops into animals says Kotler

Israeli soldiers brutalising a young Palestinian

AN ISRAELI news anchor Oshrat Kotler has blamed the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands for turning regime troops into ‘animals’. She has defended her comments despite having received death threats from ‘thousands’.

Kotler last week denounced the mistreatment of Palestinians in Israeli custody following a piece aired on the channel about five Israeli soldiers indicted for beating two handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinians – a father and his 15-year-old son.

According to the indictment, the father was hospitalised for three days after sustaining multiple broken ribs, a ‘severely’ broken nose, and subdermal bleeding around his stomach.

The son also suffered a number of wounds to his head and ‘significant swelling’ on his face.

After the report was aired, Kotler said: ‘We send children to the army, to the occupied territories, and get back animals. That is the result of the occupation.’

Her remarks infuriated extremist Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, both demanding that the TV host apologise.

On Saturday, however, Kotler said she stood by her comments despite having been flooded with death threats, according to The Times of Israel.

She accused Israeli politicians of taking ‘cynical’ advantage of her comments and taking them out of context in the midst of an election campaign.

‘I am sorry if I hurt anyone with my words, but I cannot see the price we pay through our children for the reality of controlling another nation,’ she said, appearing to fight back tears and referring to Palestinians.