Monday, January 16, 2012
Israeli troops told to 'cleanse' Gaza
Israeli soldiers talks to Channel 4 News(UK), they were ordered to "cleanse" Palestinian neighborhood. as filmmaker Nurik Kedar says "the atmosphere was that nobody should talk about this war".
They claim their commanders used to "psych up" soldiers before an operation so they were ready to shoot indiscriminately.
This is the first time Israeli soldiers have come forward publicly with claims which counter those of their bosses.
In a report first aired on Channel 4 News, 24-year-old tank commander Ohad remembers being told the night before the operation that the entry into Gaza was to be "disproportionate".
Once into Gaza, he says his orders were unambiguous: "We needed to cleanse the neighbourhoods, the buildings, the area. It sounds really terrible to say "cleanse", but those were the orders....I don't want to make a mistake with the words."
The IDF [Israel Defence Forces] has said its operational orders during the war emphasised "proportionality" and "humanity".
The importance of minimising harm to civilians was made clear to soldiers, the IDF said at the time. By the end of the 22 day long operation some 1,400 Palestinians had been killed and large areas of Gaza razed. Ten Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians also died.