When Israel launched its military attack on the Gaza Strip in late December, its first course of action was to bomb police stations across the tiny enclave, killing hundreds of security officials, police and civilians who happened to be nearby.
As the war went on the civilian toll in Gaza dwarfed the toll against the police working for the Hamas-run government. Still, criticism of the indiscriminate destruction of police stations and the killing of police en masse was enough of a thorn in then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s side to order an investigation into the background of the slain police. Now, roughly four months after the end of the siege, the report claims that the vast majority of those police, though indeed indiscriminately killed, happened to be “terrorists” of one stripe or another.
“The vast majority of the Palestinian officers were active in the military wings of Palestinian terror organizations and warrior who underwent military training,” the report alleges. While again, not really disputing the reported attack on a ceremony attended by Hamas traffic police trainees, the report insists that 88 percent of the trainees were “terror operatives.”
The 23-day war ended up killing 1,284 Gazans, the vast majority civilians, and wounding over 4,000 others. The Israeli government has opposed international investigations into the invasion, and it took nearly three months for the chief of the army, General Ashkenazi, to acknowledge the possibility that innocent people might have been hurt in the war.