Israeli Soldier's Speak Out About Gaza

In a series about the lax rules of engagement of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Israeli newspaper Haaretz is currently publishing testimonies of Israeli soldiers who participated in the recent fighting in Gaza. The first story in today’s edition describes an incident of an IDF sharpshooter who mistakenly shot a Palestinian mother and her two children:

There was a house with a family inside …. We put them in a room. Later we left the house and another platoon entered it, and a few days after that there was an order to release the family (…)

The platoon commander let the family go and told them to go to the right. One mother and her two children didn’t understand and went to the left, but they forgot to tell the sharpshooter on the roof they had let them go and it was okay, and he should hold his fire and he … he did what he was supposed to, like he was following his orders.

(..) The sharpshooter saw a woman and children approaching him, closer than the lines he was told no one should pass. He shot them straight away. In any case, what happened is that in the end he killed them.

In response to the publication of the testimonies, the IDF today ordered an investigation into the alleged violations of the army’s rules of engagement.

We have previously criticized both Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters for endangering the lives of Palestinian civilians – including by using them as human shields.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

7 thoughts on “Israeli Soldier's Speak Out About Gaza

  1. Pingback: The Soldiers Speak; What about the UN inquiry? | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog

  2. What this article proves is that Israel has free speech and a free press. Obviously any soldiers who would speak out about abuses in their own army to the press would be immediately arrested, if not summarily executed in every single Arab country, every Islamic country, and in fact in the vast majority of the world. Any newspaper in any of those countries that printed such accusations would be immediately shut down, its writers and editors arrested, tortured, executed. But in Israel, the only democracy in the middle east, this does not occur.

    By the way, these accusations, which if true are sickening and terrible, are just that so far, just accusations, and may be based on 3rd party rumors the soldiers were repeating without first hand knowledge, or exaggerations or motivated by politics or who knows what, and as yet no factual evidence has been produced. The investigation the Israelis announced will determine the truth. Israeli police investigators are probably more independent and dedicated to the truth than most countries, as evidenced by their repeated successes in bringing down several prime ministers on corruption charges etc., again something that no police force in the Arab world, or even the vast majority of the rest of the world would ever be able to do. But then again, Israel is more democratic, with more freedoms of speech and press, and a more independent judiciary and police than most of the world, even more than most of the western world.

  3. What this article proves is that Israel has free speech and a free press. Obviously any soldiers who would speak out about abuses in their own army to the press would be immediately arrested, if not summarily executed in every single Arab country, every Islamic country, and in fact in the vast majority of the world. Any newspaper in any of those countries that printed such accusations would be immediately shut down, its writers and editors arrested, tortured, executed. But in Israel, the only democracy in the middle east, this does not occur.

    By the way, these accusations, which if true are sickening and terrible, are just that so far, just accusations, and may be based on 3rd party rumors the soldiers were repeating without first hand knowledge, or exaggerations or motivated by politics or who knows what, and as yet no factual evidence has been produced. The investigation the Israelis announced will determine the truth. Israeli police investigators are probably more independent and dedicated to the truth than most countries, as evidenced by their repeated successes in bringing down several prime ministers on corruption charges etc., again something that no police force in the Arab world, or even the vast majority of the rest of the world would ever be able to do. But then again, Israel is more democratic, with more freedoms of speech and press, and a more independent judiciary and police than most of the world, even more than most of the western world.

  4. Physicians for Human Rights – Israel just released (3/23/09) a report on attacks on both medical personnel and facilities by Israeli forces. The report supports much of the testimony given by IDF members.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1073191.html

    Ha'aretz also published a story, the day before (3/22/09), about a hand-jotted 'situation assessment' written by a member of the IDF on a piece of paper that was left in a home that had been taken over by the IDF during Cast Lead.

    The document includes little operational notes including notes on rules of engagement which appear to give green light to attacking medical personnel and using less caution when killing Palestinians.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072830.html

  5. Physicians for Human Rights – Israel just released (3/23/09) a report on attacks on both medical personnel and facilities by Israeli forces. The report supports much of the testimony given by IDF members.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1073191.html

    Ha'aretz also published a story, the day before (3/22/09), about a hand-jotted 'situation assessment' written by a member of the IDF on a piece of paper that was left in a home that had been taken over by the IDF during Cast Lead.

    The document includes little operational notes including notes on rules of engagement which appear to give green light to attacking medical personnel and using less caution when killing Palestinians.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072830.html

  6. Physicians for Human Rights – Israel just released (3/23/09) a report on attacks on both medical personnel and facilities by Israeli forces. The report supports much of the testimony given by IDF members.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1073191.html

    Ha'aretz also published a story, the day before (3/22/09), about a hand-jotted 'situation assessment' written by a member of the IDF on a piece of paper that was left in a home that had been taken over by the IDF during Cast Lead.

    The document includes little operational notes including notes on rules of engagement which appear to give green light to attacking medical personnel and using less caution when killing Palestinians.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072830.html

  7. Physicians for Human Rights – Israel just released (3/23/09) a report on attacks on both medical personnel and facilities by Israeli forces. The report supports much of the testimony given by IDF members.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1073191.html

    Ha’aretz also published a story, the day before (3/22/09), about a hand-jotted ‘situation assessment’ written by a member of the IDF on a piece of paper that was left in a home that had been taken over by the IDF during Cast Lead.

    The document includes little operational notes including notes on rules of engagement which appear to give green light to attacking medical personnel and using less caution when killing Palestinians.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072830.html