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Breaking the Silence - Operation Cast Lead, Gaza 2009

Breaking the Silence - Operation Cast Lead, Gaza 2009

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Published by gonzomarx
A booklet from the group "Breaking the Silence"
Fifty-four testimonies of Israeli combat soldiers who participated in Operation Cast Lead reveal gaps between the reports given by the army following January’s events; the needless destruction of houses; firing phosphorous in populated areas and an atmosphere that encouraged shooting anywhere.
Among the 54 testimonies are stories revealing the use of "accepted practices," the destruction of hundreds of houses and mosques for no military purpose, the firing of phosphorous gas in the direction of populated areas, the killing of innocent victims with small arms, the destruction of private property, and most of all, a permissive atmosphere in the command structure that enabled soldiers to act without moral restrictions. The booklet compiles the testimonies of about 30 reserve and regular combat soldiers from various units that participated in the fighting. The testimonies demonstrate that the soldiers were not given directives stating the goal of the operation and, as one soldier testifies, "there was not much said about the issue of innocent civilians."
A booklet from the group "Breaking the Silence"
Fifty-four testimonies of Israeli combat soldiers who participated in Operation Cast Lead reveal gaps between the reports given by the army following January’s events; the needless destruction of houses; firing phosphorous in populated areas and an atmosphere that encouraged shooting anywhere.
Among the 54 testimonies are stories revealing the use of "accepted practices," the destruction of hundreds of houses and mosques for no military purpose, the firing of phosphorous gas in the direction of populated areas, the killing of innocent victims with small arms, the destruction of private property, and most of all, a permissive atmosphere in the command structure that enabled soldiers to act without moral restrictions. The booklet compiles the testimonies of about 30 reserve and regular combat soldiers from various units that participated in the fighting. The testimonies demonstrate that the soldiers were not given directives stating the goal of the operation and, as one soldier testifies, "there was not much said about the issue of innocent civilians."

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Published by: gonzomarx on Jul 20, 2009
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09/30/2012

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“…In training you learn that white phosphorus is not used, and you’re
taught that it’s not humane. You watch lms and see what it does to people
who are hit, and you say, “There, we’re doing it too.” That’s not what Iexpected to see. Until that moment I had thought that I belonged to themost humane army in the world, I knew that even in the West Bank, whenwe go into a neighborhood, we do it quietly so that people won’t see us,butalso in order not to disturb them, no less. An IDF soldier does not shootfor the sake of shooting nor does he apply excessive force beyond the call
of the mission he is to perform. We saw the planes ying out and you see
from which building the rocket is launched against Israel and you see thefour houses surrounding that building collapsing as soon as the air forcebombs. I don’t know if it was white phosphorus or not, and I don’t reallycare that much, but whole neighborhoods were simply razedbecause four houses in the area served to launch Qassam rockets...”
Breaking the Silence
Soldiers’ Testimonies from Operation Cast Lead, Gaza 2009
 
 
Breaking the Silence
is an organization of veterans who served in the Israelimilitary during the Second Intifada (since September 2000) and have takenit upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the routine situations of
everyday life in the Occupied Territories, a reality that is not reected in the
media. This alternative information conduit makes the daily goings-on inIsrael’s back yard accessible to the public at large.
Breaking the Silence
came into being in March 2004, and has since acquireda special standing for the public and in the media, bringing forth the voices ofsoldiers who had previously remained silent.
Breaking the Silence
aims ultimately to stimulate public debate about themoral price that Israeli society as a whole has been paying for a reality in whichyoung soldiers face a civilian population on an everyday basis and control itslife. All the testimonies we publish undergo meticulous research, includingcross-checking facts with additional eye-witnesses and/or the archives of
other human rights organizations which are also active in the eld.
True to our journalistic effort, the identity of our sources is not exposed
and remains condential. The testimonies published here are unedited and
presented in their original form, except for details that are withheld in order
to conceal the identity of specic testimony-bearers, and/or clarications of
military jargon.Printed in Jerusalem, June 2009
 
 
www.breakingthesilence.org.il
OperatiOn Cast Lead

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