Israeli Army Chief: ‘Possible’ Innocents Were Hurt in Gaza Invasion

Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi Praises 'Moral Army'

In perhaps the biggest understatement in recent memory, Israeli military Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi conceded that it was “possible” that innocent people had been hurt in the recent Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Human rights groups have said the overall toll of the invasion included 960 civilians killed, and over 5,000 wounded in the tiny, densely populated Palestinian enclave. Despite rights groups providing the names of the slain civilians, the Israeli military has insisted the civilian toll was “massively overstated” and that only 295 “uninvolved” Palestinians, many of them women and children, were killed. Even then, they didn’t refer to any of them as “innocent.”

After the war, several Israeli soldiers testified to lax rules of engagement and incidents they described as “cold-blooded murder” of innocent Palestinian civilians. The Israeli military promised a probe of the killings, but abandoned it just days later, claiming the soldiers had made every single incident up. Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi says that they will investigate future allegations, but that Israel’s is a “moral army” and that the Gaza invasion, though it has not led to a peace agreement, was a successful one.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.