The truth about Israeli military operations in Gaza
Haaretz expose: IDF testimonies paint grim picture of Gaza war
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent
Initial testimonies given by Israel Defense Forces soldiers and officers who fought in Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip earlier this year paint a grim picture of civilian deaths, deliberate destruction of Palestinian property and lenient orders to open fire.
Dozens of combat soldiers, graduates of the Oranim pre-military institute, gathered at their alma mater last month to relate their experiences during Operation Cast Lead.
Their on-the-ground testimonies are different from the army’s official statements, in which the IDF insisted its forces paid heed to high moral standards in every sector.
In one testimony, a soldier describes an incident in which an IDF sniper killed a Palestinian woman and her two children.
“There was one house with a family in it… we put them into some room. Afterward, we left the house and another company went in, and a few days after we went in there was an order to release the family. We took our positions upstairs.”
“There was a sniper position on the roof and the company commander released the family and told them to take a right,” said the soldier. “One mother and her two children didn’t understand, and they took a left. Someone forgot to notify the sniper on the roof that the family had been released, and that it was okay, it was fine, to hold fire, and he… you can say he acted as necessary, as he was ordered to.”
More soldier testimonies will be published in Haaretz over the coming days.