The Israeli military deliberately pounded civilian areas in the Gaza Strip with incessant fire of inaccurate ordinance during last year’s war against Hamas and was at best indifferent about casualties among the Palestinian population.
Those are the conclusions of a report complied by Breaking the Silence, an Israeli group that has spent the eight months since the end of the war, known as Operation Protective Edge, interviewing more than 60 members of the Israeli army, air force and navy, including soldiers and officers up to the rank of major.
The service personnel paint a picture that runs counter to official Israeli military claims that the surgical operation – which became a full-blown conflict after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered in the occupied West Bank – took great care to avoid civilian casualties and that Gaza’s already fragile infrastructure was not unnecessarily targetted.
International critics of Israeli tactics during the seven-week conflict have argued that the army, the IDF, and the country’s other forces, responded disproportionately to rocket attacks from groups such as Hamas. This, they say, led to 2,220 Palestinians being killed, according to UN figures, the vast majority of them civilians.