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“The Israeli Army is the most moral in the world, and I know what I’m talking about because I know what took place in the former Yugoslavia, in Iraq.”

– Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak

Now testimony is emerging from within the ranks of soldiers and officers alleging a permissive attitude toward the killing of civilians and reckless destruction of property that is sure to inflame the domestic and international debate about the army’s conduct in Gaza. On Thursday, the military’s chief advocate general ordered an investigation into a soldier’s account of a sniper killing a woman and her two children who walked too close to a designated no-go area by mistake, and another account of a sharpshooter who killed an elderly woman who came within 100 yards of a commandeered house.

When asked why that elderly woman was killed, a squad commander was quoted as saying: “What’s great about Gaza — you see a person on a path, he doesn’t have to be armed, you can simply shoot him. In our case it was an old woman on whom I did not see any weapon when I looked. The order was to take down the person, this woman, the minute you see her. There are always warnings, there is always the saying, ‘Maybe he’s a terrorist.’ What I felt was, there was a lot of thirst for blood.”

From NYT.

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One Response

  1. “…that doesn’t mean there are no exceptions.” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, same quotation, from a WaPo article: “Israeli Military Probes Possible Troop Misconduct in Gaza War.

    That said, I think the problem is beginning to run deeper than individual bad actors. But it looks as if Ha’aretz’s dogged reporting is at least starting to penetrate the upper-echelons of the IDF brass.

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