Breaking the Silence, an Israel organization, has revealed soldiers' damning accounts of killing civilians and random vandalism during recent operations in Gaza.
Breaking The Silence consists of Israel Defense Forces veterans who want to raise awareness about the reality of everyday life in the occupied territories.
They recently printed accounts from unnamed Israeli soldiers claiming abuses against Palestinian civilians during last year's Gaza war.
The group says the disturbing accounts show a "change in the military's combat norms."
Here are just some of the harrowing revelations, showing people in Gaza just don't stand a chance when IDF soldiers decide to shoot:
You may just be killed for obeying us:
A sniper killed a mother and children at close range after they were told by the troops to leave their home.
No one in Gaza is safe
"Anything inside (the Gaza Strip) is a threat, the area has to be sterilized, empty of people and if we don't see someone waving a white flag, screaming, 'I give up', or something then he's a threat and there's authorization to open fire," said another soldier.
Another soldier’s account corroborates it:
“Anything you see in the neighborhoods you’re in, anything within a reasonable distance, say between zero and 200 meters – is dead on the spot. No authorization needed,” recounted an officer. When he asked his officer, “I see someone walking in the street, do I shoot him?” He said yes. “Why do I shoot him?” “Because he isn’t supposed to be there. Nobody, no sane civilian who isn’t a terrorist, has any business being within 200 meters of a tank. And if he places himself in such a situation, he is apparently up to something.”
A soldier recalls how the Israeli soldiers confiscated IDs from Palestinians and when these people came across other check points without their IDs, they got in to trouble.
The accounts go on.
More than 2,200 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, were killed during the war; 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians were killed.
The IDF has always defended its conduct in Gaza but says it will investigate the testimonies.
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