Israeli Troops Ordered to ‘Shoot Rather Than Ask Questions’

Gaza-deployed Soldiers Appalled by Destruction as Reports of Civilian Deaths Grow

We are treating everything as hostile right now. We were told not to take chances – to shoot rather than ask questions.” That is the policy of the invading Israeli soldiers as described by one of their lieutenants. And indeed, they’re doing plenty of shooting. As for who they’re shooting, that’s one of those questions that not only are they not supposed to ask, they’d just as soon not answer.

Even among the invading army there is no small amount of shock at the destruction of residential neighborhoods. To quote the same soldier “it looks destroyed, demolished, like we were bombing it for years. You can’t imagine what damage we have done.” Nor can we rely on the international press to cover that damage, because they are still being kept from entering the strip by the Israeli military.

But we do get plenty of eyewitness accounts from the ground. The death toll has reportedly exceeded 975 now, with untold thousands wounded, and the promised “phase three” of the attacks haven’t even started in earnest yet. Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported that Israeli soldiers opened fire on a group of civilians trying to flee their homes, even though they had been ordered out by the Israeli military and were waving white flags at the time. The toll seems bound to rise as the troops move into the most densely populated parts of Gaza City.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of