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Homosexual Israeli soldiers claim harassment

JTA

August 16, 2011 | 10:18 am

Israeli Defense Force soldiers

Israeli Defense Force soldiers

Gay and lesbian soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces said they have been sexually harassed during their military service.

Forty percent of the homosexual soldiers said they were verbally abused and 4 percent said they were physically abused, according to a new survey by the Israel Gay Youth organization.

Some 45 percent of respondents in the study said they heard homophobic remarks frequently or very frequently in their units, while 59 percent of soldiers in combat units said they heard homophobic remarks frequently.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said they had come out to their family, but only 32 percent had told fellow soldiers or their commander about their homosexuality.

Some 364 gay and lesbian soldiers currently serving in the Israeli military or discharged within the last year were surveyed for the report.

The IDF would not comment on the data but told Haaretz that all abuse claims are handled in an appropriate manner.

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