On Thursday 19th march, the Israeli online haaretz published testimonies of Israeli soldiers who took part in the Israeli Cast Lead offensive in Gaza.
Photo by pchr. Palestinian child killed in cast lead offensive.
The Israeli officer statement was made during a pre-military preparatory course at the Israeli Oranim Academic College organized by Yitzhak Rabin Center last month.
The course included uniform soldiers, pilots and officers latest Israeli operation Cast Lead started on December 27th 2008 and ended 22 days later, leaving 1,400 Palestinians killed and at least 7,000 injured.
The Palestinian Ministry of health in Gaza says that 400 children were among those killed during the offensive. A soldier said in his testimony “There was a house with a family inside …. We put them in a room. Later we left the house and another platoon entered it, and a few days after that there was an order to release the family. They had set up positions upstairs. There was a sniper position on the roof,” He continued to say “The platoon commander let the family go and told them to go to the right. One mother and her two children didn’t understand and went to the left, but they forgot to tell the sharpshooter on the roof they had let them go and it was okay, and he should hold his fire and he … he did what he was supposed to, like he was following his orders.”
That soldier commander said in his testimony “The sharpshooter saw a woman and children approaching him, closer than the lines he was told no one should pass. He shot them straight away. In any case, what happened is that in the end he killed them. “I don’t think he felt too bad about it, because after all, as far as he was concerned, he did his job according to the orders he was given.
The lives of Palestinians, let’s say, is something very, very much less important than the lives of our soldiers. So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way,” The commander added another army commander talked about an incident during the Cast Lead operation where Israeli soldiers shot and killed an elderly Palestinian woman.
The woman was shot while walking in the street from a house the Israeli soldiers occupied 100 meters away. That commander said that he argued with his commander about the rules of engagement but he says that he was told “we should kill everyone there(Gaza). Everyone there is a terrorist.”
This report is the first in its kind, since it contravenes with Israeli army repots few weeks after the Cast Lead operation ended that the soldiers have behaved in a “high level of morals” during the attack. The Israeli online Haaretz announced that it will publish more of those testimonies in the coming few days, but off course no names of soldiers or their commanders will be published.
THIS STORY WAS ALSO COVERED BY THE “TIMES ONLINE”.