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Indiscriminate Killing: Israel’s Top-Down War Plan

6 May 2015 7:52


Last year Israel deliberately targeted civilians during its unprovoked war on Gaza. That’s according to a new report by Israeli veterans NGO Breaking the Silence.

The damning report features testimony from more than 60 Israeli soldiers who confirm that not only did they deliberately kill civilians, but that they were explicitly ordered to do so.

According to the report, civilian infrastructure, homes, schools and hospitals were deliberately attacked without any clear operational justification: “Israeli troops were ordered to shoot people on sight. They shelled homes and reduced neighbourhoods to rubble as part of a deliberate policy of force protection that cost the lives of Palestinian civilians.”

It’s all the reason why the International Criminal Court in The Hague should step in to investigate. There is another clear reason for this too:

Amid talk of Israeli soldiers ordered to deliberately murder Gaza civilians, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, Israeli army commander during last summer’s invasion, has talked up an even bigger civilian toll next time!

In his words: “It’s going to be worse next time. Israel will have to attack civilians. There needs to be a dramatic rethink to international law without limiting the ability of Israel and other countries to attack civilians during conflicts… .”

Along similar lines, the United Nations and numerous human rights organizations and aid groups have equally exposed Israeli war crimes committed during last year’s assault on Gaza.

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has said: “Israel deliberately defied international law in its military offensive in Gaza. World powers should hold Israel accountable for possible war crimes.”

This is while no Israeli soldiers, commanders or politicians have been held accountable for their war crimes. The Israeli regime has resisted international human rights investigations, from Amnesty International and the United Nations to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Under international law, these world bodies are duty-bound to at least investigate the Israeli soldiers’ testimonies to ensure veracity and to ensure justice for Palestinians in Gaza.

It is indeed well past time for a more robust and transparent investigation about – and an open, transparent, outside review of – the entire war. That’s the only way to move forward and prevent similar systematic wrongdoings and wrongful killings in Palestine and other parts of the region.

As the new disclosure forcefully reminds us all, the lives of innocent people – Palestinian citizens – are continually at risk. Before it gets worse, the UN and the ICC should pro-actively take immediate steps to allow a full and transparent investigation of the entire civilian killing program – Israel’s deliberate policy of force protection – in occupied Palestine.

There should be nothing particularly contentious about an investigation like this, particularly when there are new threats by Israeli army commanders, credible reports and evidence of civilian deaths and international legal violations.

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