JERUSALEM (RPRN) 7/15/2009–A group of former Israeli soldiers says the military used reckless force during the fighting in Gaza earlier this year, resulting in unnecessary deaths and damage. An organization of Israeli reserve and combat soldiers called Breaking the Silence released a collection of testimonies Wednesday that said the Israeli Defense Force demolished homes in Gaza for no reason and used firepower beyond what was necessary.
The Breaking the Silence report also accused Israeli soldiers of forcing Palestinians to serve as “human shields” during Israel’s offensive in Gaza.
The Israeli military has rejected the account, saying the group is “defaming and slandering” its commanders. The military said the human rights group is presenting a report “based on anonymous and general testimonies” without “checking their credibility.”
Israel says it launched the Gaza offensive in late December to stop cross-border rocket attacks by Palestinian militants. Three weeks of fighting killed at least 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. Amnesty International says 300 Palestinian children were among the dead.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.
Photo credit: Dar al-Fadila Association for Orphans, consisting of a school, computer center and mosque in Rafah serving 500 children, were destroyed by the Israelis during Israel’s assault on Gaza.
Source: Wikimedia Commons