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This report documents seven incidents where Israeli soldiers fired on civilians with small arms during Israel’s major military operations in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.
These attacks killed 11 civilians—including five women and four children—and wounded at least another eight.
These casualties comprise a small fraction of the Palestinian civilians killed and wounded during what Israel called Operation Cast Lead, but they stand out because of the
circumstances of the attacks.
Deliberate attacks on civilians are violations of the laws of war, and individuals who commit or order such attacks are responsible for war crimes.
the Israeli government and IDF have failed to conduct serious investigations into many of the credible allegations of
laws-of-war violations by Israeli forces during Operation Cast Lead.
When Israeli soldiers who fought in the operation spoke publicly about attacks on civilians and other violations, the IDF dismissed their claims as hearsay and exaggerations, and criticized the soldiers for speaking out.
In the killings documented in this report, Human Rights Watch found no evidence that the civilian victims were used by Palestinian fighters as human shields or were shot in the crossfire between opposing forces. In each of the incidents, Israeli forces appeared in control, and Palestinian fighters had left the area in question. The civilian victims were in plain view and posed no apparent security threat.
The Jerusalem Post
The IDF rejected a B'tselem report on Wednesday which claimed more than half of the 1,382 Palestinians killed in Operation Cast Lead did not take part in hostilities....
Hamas is diverting attention from the real issue, in which this terror organization specifically and deliberately endangered the lives of the residents in the Gaza Strip, where on the other hand, as much as was possible, the IDF sought to prevent the harm of uninvolved noncombatant civilians...