An Israel Defense Forces display for Independence Day in the settlement of Tekoa in the West Bank featured a booth where children could have their limbs painted to resemble shrapnel and stab wounds, with people present saying children as young as 5 were joining in.
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The display, which was conducted by the Etzion Brigade’s medical staff, included dummies used in the army to illustrate battle wounds, including one that looked like a pair of amputated legs. A parent told the Times of Israel website that the soldiers even squirted a red liquid through the mock amputated legs to resemble blood flowing.
“As part of the Independence Day events, a number of depots in the Central Command region were opened to the general public, at which the district brigades displayed their activities,” the IDF Spokesman’s Office said in a statement. “This included dozens of displays including vehicles, surveillance and communications equipment. Among them was a display of the Medical Corps in which treatment methods were illustrated.”
According to a military source, the events at Tekoa were “approved based on content from previous events and consultation with professionals. In general the day went well, and it’s clear that many families enjoyed it.”
The IDF’s events on Independence Day at bases and depots have been criticized in the past for including activities that aren’t appropriate for small children, like an obstacle course or the throwing of used grenades. Many families show up to watch and take part in the activities, which the army considers “attractions” for the public, including demonstrations of how wounded soldiers are treated by army medical teams.
On this Independence Day, the IDF displayed tanks, armored personnel carriers, other military vehicles, weapons and communications equipment at over 15 sites throughout the country, including in the settlements of Neveh Tzuf, Kiryat Arba, Ariel and Kedumim in the West Bank, Tel Aviv's neighboring city of Givatayim and Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill.