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Israeli soldiers break their silence
A group of Israeli soldiers who participated in the Gaza offensive in January 2009 claim the Israeli army is responsible for countless abuses against Palestinian civilians due to...
July 15, 2009 11:59 by Dana El Baltaji
A group of Israeli soldiers who participated in the Gaza offensive in January 2009 claim the Israeli army is responsible for countless abuses against Palestinian civilians due to the army’s “permissive” rules of engagement, reports the BBC.
Breaking the Silence, a campaign group comprised of Israeli soldiers, published a report based on accounts from 26 soldiers.
“We were told soldiers were to be secured by fire-power. The soldiers were made to understand that their lives were the most important, and that there was no way our soldiers would get killed for the sake of leaving civilians the benefit of the doubt,” said one soldier in the report.
“People were not instructed to shoot at everyone they see, but they were told that from a certain distance when they approach a house, no matter who it is – even an old woman – take them down,” said another.
The accounts corroborate reports by human rights agencies of Israel’s indiscriminate violence in Gaza during its 22-day incursion.