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Soldiers sound the air horn

Soldiers sound the air horn

Israeli soldiers have spoken up about the atrocities committed in Gaza. Linda Heard, a commentator for Arab News, asks that we listen and act.

July 21, 2009 4:07 by



“The guys would simply break stuff. Some were out to destroy and trash the whole time. They drew a disgusting drawing on the wall. They threw out sofas. They took down a picture from the wall just to shatter it. They really couldn’t see why they shouldn’t … We were allowed to do anything we want. Who’s to tell us not to?”

“When you enter a house on a mapping action, the family look at you but here you didn’t know if this was a terrorist’s house at all. So the assumption is that everyone is a terrorist and then it’s legitimate to do just anything we please.”

Others reported widespread use of civilian human shields forced to break into neighboring homes suspected of being booby trapped or of containing armed men, which is a recognized war crime, as is the use of white phosphorus in a congested civilian area.

Another recounted how an unarmed old man carrying a torch was gunned down on the orders of his superior who refused to allow deterrent fire as the man approached. His was a scream I will never forget as long as I live, said the interviewee.

The report’s many detractors say it is unreliable due to the anonymity of witnesses but, in fact, it merely confirms earlier revelations from graduates of the Yitzhak Rabin Pre-Military Academy who spoke of the cold-blooded murder of Gaza civilians.

As a result, the academy’s director Danny Zamir was smeared and vilified as someone who aids Israel’s enemies. As expected the IDF was exonerated by a judge who closed a military police investigation into accounts of human rights violations by troops in Gaza.

If the Israeli authorities are determined to carry on in the same vein while burying evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity and human rights violations, then the international community is surely obliged to take a firm stance in order to protect the helpless victims of any future conflict. If current legal channels, such as the International Criminal Court, are not empowered to hold Israel – or any other state potentially guilty of similar crimes – accountable, then new structures should be instituted.

Israeli soldiers themselves have spoken loud and clear and in many cases they are victims too because they will have to live with the horrible things they’ve seen and done for the rest of their lives. We should hear them.

First seen in Arab News.



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1 Comment

  1. Simon on July 23, 2009 7:56 am

    The IDF has been an army in denial for may years, in 1982 during the invasion of Beirut, white phosphorous was used against, and recorded as being used by Robert Fisk in the newspapers and in his book “Pity the Nation” as was the IDF’s wanten desecration of my parents apartment in the Bir Hassan neighbourhood ( which I can confirm I saw ) or the Israeli Navy’s removal and interiogation of my father for 2 hours on one of their gunboats whilst he was evacuating Beirut via the ferry to Larnica. The trouble is the Israeli’s know they can get away with this unrulie behaviour and cover up their crimes. Unfortunately America has no stomach to stand up and do the right thing and defend real human rights in this segment of the world ( include Manamar in that list ) and unfortunately the monster nation will get more and more brazen and out of control until tone day they have to be stopped – unfortunately by force !

     

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