Israeli Troops: We Were Ordered to Kill Gaza Civilians

Defense chief vows 'serious' investigation
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2009 6:26 AM CDT
Israeli Troops: We Were Ordered to Kill Gaza Civilians
A Palestinian man sits in the rubble of his destroyed house, in an area that was devastated in the last Israeli military offensive, in east Jebaliya, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Israeli soldiers' accounts about their actions in Gaza seem to back up critics' assertions that the army violated rules of war and have set off a "soul-searching" in Israel, writes Richard Boudreaux in the Los Angeles Times. The troops tell of orders to shoot civilians without warning and destroy property "just because you can." The army has ordered a special investigation.

"When we entered a house, we were supposed to bust down the door and start shooting inside and just go up story by story," one soldier was quoted as telling a military prep school. "Each story, if we identify a person, we shoot them. I asked myself: 'How is this reasonable?' " Two other widely published accounts detail the shooting of a mother and two children, and the killing of an elderly woman in a road. "I have no doubt that this will be studied seriously," said defense chief Ehud Barak.
(More Israel stories.)

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