During its attack on Gaza, Israel put in place various obstacles, such that Palestiniancivilians found themselves under a state of siege for hours and sometimes days,without water food or electricity. The wounded too were forced to wait long hours,even days, for evacuation. Medical crews and facilities sustained direct fire. Thetestimonies presented in this report underscore the suspicion that a qualitativetransformation occurred in the army’s ethical conduct vis-à-vis civilians injuredduring the fighting. This report limits itself to a discussion of the ways in which thearmy related to injured civilians, and does not discuss the broader topic of the changein the means and methods of fighting.Many works that deal with the moral and ethical dilemmas which have arisen due tothe change from conventional to urban warfare, like that employed in the fighting inthe Occupied Palestinian Territory ask the question of whether the ethicalconsiderations guiding the Israeli military should change as well.
In reality, it seemsthat the question has been answered and Palestinian civilians are paying for it withtheir lives. The Israeli public’s perception of its enemy as one which does not valuehuman life (whether by “attacking Israeli civilians” or “using its own civilians ashuman shields”), has brought about a change in the conduct of the Israeli militaryThe army has found partial endorsement in controversial ethical codes like those justifying targeted assassination, in contradiction to international law. This, inaddition to on-going demonization of Palestinians
, erosion of moral considerations asthe conflict wears on, and disappointment arising from the seeming absence of a
See Nevo Baruch, Shor Yael,
Musar, Etica ve-Mishpat bi-Lehimah, (Morality, Ethics and Law inWarfare),
The Israeli Institute for Democracy: Army and Society Project, (2003).
See for example: “There are enemies that are personally in an ethnic or religious confrontation withus. Their goal is to kill as many Jews as possible, to deliver us from our land or to take away ourindependence. They are willing to commit suicide to this end and to make an effort to their last breathin order to execute their attacks. An enemy of this kind, even when wounded, continues to be anenemy. [and is therefore not under the defence of international treatise]. The oath of the paramedicdoes not distinguish between an enemy and a friend, and in that it stands in contradiction to Jewish law[Halachah] that does make that same distinction. Due to the fact that every Jew is under oath sinceBiblical times to follow the laws of the Torah, this paramedic oath is not binding by Jewish law. Inaddition one might comment that nowadays medical treatment and life-saving procedures are veryexpensive. The Paramedic Oath reflects a superficial kind of morality, and is irrelevant in modernreality. " Rabbi Dror Baramah, answering a soldier's question. http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340'L-3439603,00.html