Gulf News (Editorial)
July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

The Israeli assault on Gaza in January was an outrage against humanity. Israeli frustration and fury with Hamas led to the government allowing the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) to break its own rules and commit a wide variety of war crimes in an effort to punish the entire population and reduce Gaza to rubble.

The Israeli army deliberately caused huge damage from continually using excessive firepower, and it killed over 1,400 people in the 22-day conflict. The IDF used illegal weapons like white phosphorus shells which are banned in civilian areas by the Geneva Convention. Israeli soldiers used Palestinian residents as human shields, resting their rifles on the civilians' shoulders as the soldiers hid behind them and entered buildings which may have contained Palestinian military personnel.

This fetid moral atmosphere of revenge encouraged the Israeli troops to perform petty acts such as defecating in the wardrobes and chest of drawers of Palestinian homes, and drawing disgusting cartoons on the walls of children's bedrooms, all as part of their effort to destroy as much as possible during their 22 days in Gaza.

Breaking the Silence is an Israeli organisation dedicated to improving Israeli civil society, and it has just published a report based on testimony from 54 Israeli combat soldiers who participated in the Gaza War, and their damning statements reveal a clear shoot-first policy which was part of the overall strategy to seek revenge on all the inhabitants of Gaza for the continued rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas. One indication of the seriousness of the report is that the Israeli lobby has already leapt to deny it, but the report is part of a much wider body of evidence that shows how Israel deliberately broke international law and its own military rules to deliberately traumatise the entire population of Gaza. It should answer for its crimes.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017