Israeli Soldiers Blame Loose Rules for Gaza Deaths
Posted on Jul 15, 2009
A number of anonymous Israeli soldiers speaking through a human rights organization have made serious allegations about Israel’s winter assault on Gaza. The soldiers say unclear rules and reckless conduct led to unnecessary civilian casualties and wanton destruction.
This isn’t the first time Israeli soldiers condemned aspects of Operation Cast Lead. The Israeli military dismissed those criticisms, and these more recent allegations, as unsubstantiated hearsay.
According to testimonies from the 14 conscripts and 12 reserve soldiers:
• Rules of engagement were either unclear or encouraged soldiers to do their utmost to protect their own lives whether or not Palestinian civilians were harmed.
• Civilians were used as human shields, entering buildings ahead of soldiers
• Large swathes of homes and buildings were demolished. Accounts say that this was often done because the houses might be booby-trapped, or cover tunnels. Testimony mentioned a policy referred to as “the day after”, whereby areas near the border where razed to make future military operations easier
Flickr / ISM Palestine