In the last several days the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has published testimony from IDF soldiers who served in the Gaza offensive. The words of the IDF combatants are not only disturbing but point to damning evidence of war crimes that the Israeli establishment has been trying to distance itself from. Further to this, it seems, upon reading some testimonials, that an ugly and deeply entrenched sentiment of racism towards Palestinians is the underlying logic that drives such heinous acts.
Amos Harel reports that a
squad leader . . . told of an incident where the company commander ordered that an elderly Palestinian woman be shot and killed; she was walking on a road about 100 meters from a house the company had commandeered.
The squad leader said he argued with his commander over the permissive rules of engagement that allowed the clearing out of houses by shooting without warning the residents beforehand. After the orders were changed, the squad leader’s soldiers complained that ‘we should kill everyone there [in the center of Gaza]. Everyone there is a terrorist.’
The squad leader said: ‘You do not get the impression from the officers that there is any logic to it, but they won’t say anything. To write ‘death to the Arabs’ on the walls, to take family pictures and spit on them, just because you can. I think this is the main thing: To understand how much the IDF has fallen in the realm of ethics, really. It’s what I’ll remember the most.’
These testimonials have already received a fair amount of international attention. You can read further commentary here: