Israel has repeatedly denied reports of deliberate targeting of civilians during its wars in the Gaza Strip, those claims were once again proven false today with the release of a new report by Israeli veterans NGO Breaking the Silence.
The report features testimony from more than 60 Israeli soldiers who confirmed that not only did they deliberately target civilians during the most recent invasion, but that they were explicitly ordered to do so.
“Whoever you see there, you kill,” is how one soldier summed up the orders. He said soldiers were told the civilians “knew they’re not supposed to be there” and therefore they were to kill anyone who wasn’t an Israeli soldier on sight.
Soldiers went on to say that traditional admonishments to use “minimum force” were thrown out the window in the war, and that civilian homes were deliberately attacked “without any clear operational justification,” sometimes just because the military wanted to demonstrate their military control over the neighborhoods.
The report concluded that Israel’s military had suffered from a “broad ethical failure” during the war, and one that extended from the top of the chain of command.
During the month-long Israeli invasion, 2,189 Palestinians were killed. The overwhelming majority, 1,486, were civilians, including many ordered out of their neighborhoods and into UN facilities, which were then deliberately attacked.
Though the IDF insists it is “investigating” claims of abuse, it has repeatedly denied any systematic wrongdoing during the war, saying it is the “most ethical” military ever.