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Permissive open fire regulations, a "trigger happy" attitude, and indiscriminate destruction: Breaking the Silence publishes a report containing testimonies of Israeli soldiers from the latest round of fighting in the Gaza Strip

On May 4, 2015, the Israeli organization Breaking the Silence published a report containing testimonies of soldiers and commanders who participated in the war in Gaza in the summer of 2014, named "Operation Protective Edge". The report portrays a disturbing picture of the policy that guided the activity of all ranks of the military forces. The military's guiding principle of minimum risk to its forces, even at the cost of harming innocent civilians, together with its efforts to intimidate and deter the Palestinians, resulted in unprecedented harm to the population and the civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

Among other things, it seems that the open fire regulations were very lax during the fighting, and that it had been made clear to the soldiers that any figure they identify, whether armed or not, constituted an enemy. Furthermore, the testimonies describe unabated artillery fire directed at "suspicious" residential buildings at the initial stage of the operation and during it, intended to scare off enemy combatants and at times also to urge the civilian population to flee. The report also describes the indiscriminate destruction of entire neighborhoods, perpetrated by the Israeli military; and also cases of looting, destruction of property, unwarranted fire at vehicles of uninvolved civilians, and at least one case of "dead checking" an innocent civilian.

HaMoked joins Breaking the Silence in the call for an honest and thorough investigation to be carried out by an external and independent entity, that would perhaps lead to a fundamental reorganization that might prevent a recurrence of the harsh reality witnessed in the summer of 2014. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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