Israeli Soldiers Admit to Using Human Shields in Gaza

Israeli Military Slams Rights Group for Publishing Testimonies

In a report published this week by Breaking the Silence, a human rights group that publishes testimonies from Israeli soldiers, a soldier involved in the January invasion of the Gaza Strip testified that his unit used Palestinian civilians as human shields while raiding houses. The revelation comes despite a 2005 ban on the practice by the Israeli High Court.

Other testimonies reveal that commanders urged the troops to “shoot first and worry later about sorting out civilians.” The Israeli invasion killed an enormous number of civilians in the densely populated strip and destroyed many residential neighborhoods.

The Israeli military condemned the publication of the testimonies, saying that they were not “as a matter of minimal fairness” given a chance to inspect them before publication. It also said the testimonies were similar to ones given by soldiers shortly after the war.

On March 19, the Israeli military announced it was going to investigate the numerous testimonies from soldiers saying they were encouraged to indiscriminately kill civilians. On March 30 they announced that they were abandoning the probe, and that every claim was a lie.

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.