The Guardian 'Gaza War Crimes Investigation' – 3 videos

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Hermes 450 unmanned drone used by Israel.

Hermes 450 unmanned drone used by Israel.

The Guardian website posted three incredible videos March 23rd by Clancy Chassay, Christian Bennett, Sarah Brodbin, Maggie O’Kane and Mustafa Khalili.  The Guardian team conducted their own investigations into some of the charges that Israel committed war crimes during the Gaza offensive.

The first video covers the use of precision weapons, many fired by unmanned drones, to attack civilians.  Amnesty International mentioned these drones in their report ‘Fuelling conflict: Foreign arms supplies to Israel/Gaza’.  The fact that these unmanned drones are used to attack as well as surveillance is a fact usually censored by the IDF on Israeli reporters and foreign reporters based in the region.

The second video deals with allegations by both sides of human shielding.  Amnesty issued a report on how both Israel and armed Palestinian groups, including Hamas, were using military tactics that endangered civilians.  Chassay also mentions the deadly campaign that Hamas undertook during the crisis to injure and kill ‘collaborators’ and political opponents which Amnesty also investigated.

The third video shows footage of attacks on medical personnel while trying to tend to wounded and attacks on hospitals and medical facilities.  Amnesty also covered this issue in the blog, LiveWire and in a report.  [Donatella Rovera, senior researcher for AI on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, posted blog entries while on the fact finding mission to southern Israel and the Gaza Strip.]

Israeli Soldier's Speak Out About Gaza

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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.