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IDF claims most Gazan casualties were ‘accidental’

Israel/Palestine
on 18 Comments

A “senior officer” told Haaretz reporter ‘Amos Harel that most Gazans killed by the IDF since March 30th were killed accidentally, claiming that IDF snipers were aiming to wound them but that the protesters either bent down just as the sniper was pulling the trigger or were killed by shrapnel from the ground.

This claim directly contradicts IDF’s official statement of 31st March, in which the army claimed that “nothing was carried out uncontrolled, everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.” The IDF later deleted the statement, presumably because of the legal culpability it carries, but a screen capture was taken in time.

IDF statement of March 31, since removed, saying that every bullet’s destination was known to command, in Gaza.

It’s worth noting that this is a usual practice by the IDF Spokesman: making an official claim and then having a “senior officer” giving another version, this time anonymously, so that it cannot be attributed to the IDF – and the army can hold both positions.

A notorious case was that of Jawaher Abu Rahma, who died as a result of inhaling CS teargas in occupied Bil’in in late 2010; the IDF Spokesman had one official position (“we’re investigating”) while senior officers spread malicious rumors anonymously – Major General Avi Mizrahi, for instance, was exposed briefing friendly media and claiming Abu Rahma died of cancer.

The “senior officer’s” claim also takes Israelis on a trip down memory lane: the claim that Palestinians bent down just as they were shot and as a result were killed was common in the 1980s. I cannot recall when the claim was last made by an official with a straight face.

Since March 30th, IDF gunmen have killed 44 Palestinians near the Gaza Defense Parameter, and the number of wounded is near 2,000. The shootings of Palestinians in the legs, maiming them, made the front page of the Washington Post over the weekend.

The Israeli media slowly begins to discuss the question of whether the IDF snipers are using hollow point ammunition, whose legality is questionable. The High Court of Justice will hear today an appeal by several human rights organizations, including ‘Adala, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Yesh Din demanding that the IDF stop its policy of shooting unarmed protesters with live ammunition. (Full disclosure: I worked for Yesh Din until about a year ago.)

The government presented its position yesterday, refusing to expose the ROE (rules of engagement) used by the IDF in the Gaza Strip, but claiming the ROE “is consistent with Israeli and international law.” The government further claimed that the ROE are classified, and in case it would have to be discussed, it should be done ex parte.

About Yossi Gurvitz

Yossi Gurvitz is a journalist and a blogger, and has covered the occupation extensively.

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18 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan
    April 30, 2018, 10:36 am

    The bullets they use and the numbers shot in the head.
    Jews wouldn’t do that.
    Except Hebrew speakers do. And then some.

  2. Maghlawatan
    April 30, 2018, 10:44 am

    The IDF is a propaganda outfit that murders Gazans for sport.
    It has had a change of heart? Really?

    It has as much credibility as Der Sturmer.

  3. Annie Robbins
    April 30, 2018, 11:17 am

    This claim directly contradicts IDF’s official statement of 31st March

    as the curtain is drawn
    executioner hands tauten noose
    command rotates spokespersons
    talking points shift
    baying call of the condemned remains
    “we will return”

  4. John O
    April 30, 2018, 11:46 am

    After posting them on an earlier thread, I thought my remarks about hollow-point ammunition were a red herring. Maybe I should trust my instincts a bit more.

  5. Kay24
    April 30, 2018, 12:34 pm

    Are these IDF goons so incompetent, and unskilled, that they have killed unarmed kids, “accidentally”? That is not going to fly with most intelligent people, and the rest of the world knows that Israel is well known for lies, exaggerations, and blaming their victims. Time and time again we have seen this happen. One such disgraceful event was when they massacred unarmed activists on the Gaza flotilla. These zionist are the most evil, and the most devious lot we have seen. It is disgusting to see their leaders praise these killers after the killing, and injuring, of so many protesters. Now they claim it was an accident. What a load of zionist bull.

  6. ritzl
    April 30, 2018, 1:11 pm

    “Were” meaning “will continue to be…”??

  7. echinococcus
    April 30, 2018, 1:45 pm

    an appeal by several human rights organizations, including ‘Adala, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Yesh Din demanding that the IDF stop its policy of shooting unarmed protesters with live ammunition

    This is one instance of what is so wrong with even the microscopic, impotent remains of a shadow of internal opposition within the Zionist invaders –those opponents of Zionism who insist in continuing to squat unauthorized themselves. Claims such as “I won’t interfere with your murder but please murder with a blunter instrument” only encourage the aggressor. They have always done so, including during the rise of Nazism and other parallel situations.

    It’s so difficult to even realize that the author means that seriously.

  8. gracie fr
    April 30, 2018, 3:19 pm

    Amnesty International has renewed its call on governments worldwide to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel following the country’s disproportionate response to mass demonstrations along the fence that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel.

    In most of the fatal cases analysed by Amnesty International victims were shot in the upper body, including the head and the chest, some from behind. Eyewitness testimonies, video and photographic evidence suggest that many were deliberately killed or injured while posing no immediate threat to the Israeli soldiers.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/04/israel-arms-embargo-needed-as-military-unlawfully-kills-and-maims-gaza-protesters/

  9. Keith
    April 30, 2018, 5:45 pm

    “A “senior officer” told Haaretz reporter ‘Amos Harel that most Gazans killed by the IDF since March 30th were killed accidentally, claiming that IDF snipers were aiming to wound them but that the protesters either bent down just as the sniper was pulling the trigger or were killed by shrapnel from the ground.”

    The implication being what? That intentionally wounding/maiming over 3500 protesters (and counting) is an acceptable means of crowd control?

  10. Ossinev
    May 1, 2018, 4:33 am

    On Friday 4th May the first stage of the Giro D`Italia is due to take place in Jerusalem whilst less than 50 miles away the Fascist hosts will be carrying on as normal with their slaughterfest in Gaza.

    In the words of one of the leading funder/organisers:
    “We will be able to show a billion people without the filter of the traditional media what Israel is really all about,” he explained. “Also to show off that we are democratic and open and pluralistic and free and most importantly that we are safe.”
    https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Sports/Israels-cycling-godfather-climbs-mountains-553073

    LOL

    A day of shame for International Cycling. Hopefully there will be peaceful demonstrations along the routes of the three scheduled stages in support of the innocent Palestinian civilians being murdered and wounded in Gaza ( even braindead Zios will realise that it is not good PR to be seen shooting civilians at a major televised sporting event ).

    • RoHa
      May 1, 2018, 6:24 pm

      But, in Israel, shooting civilians is a major televised sporting event, isn’t it?

  11. Maghlawatan
    May 1, 2018, 10:28 am

    As black Elk noted about what the White people did to his people “we can’t eat lies”.
    The IDF is a joke.

  12. Marnie
    May 1, 2018, 11:34 am

    Chief Black Hawk – Black Hawk Remembers Life Along the … – Genius
    https://genius.com › C › Chief Black Hawk

    “How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right”.

  13. Jasonius Maximus
    May 1, 2018, 12:23 pm

    Let’s cut straight to the chase. There is NOTHING accidental about snipers shooting unarmed civilians. Period!

    Snipers by their very description are employed and deployed to do one thing and only one thing. Deliberately identify, verify, eliminate valid military targets, and confirm the elimination of said targets with nothing but the utmost accuracy. Nothing more, nothing less. Snipers shooting over 2000 non-violent protesters is NOT an accident.

    We know that basically every single killed and wounded Gazan was a non-combatant civilian, because if the IDF had (by some miracle) managed to kill, wound, and maim over 2000 Hamas combatants (ie. 1/20th of their military force) they would be firing rockets like it was the end of the bloody world!

    So it’s no accident that IDF snipers were deliberately targeting and shooting non-combatant civilian targets. It’s no accident that they were more than likely deliberately firing depleted uranium and or hollow tipped bullets to inflict the absolute most damage possible on each of their over 2000 identified targets. It’s no accident that in doing so they knew that they were deliberately violating the rules of engagement, International Law, and committing what amounts to nothing short of war crimes. It’s no accident that Israel, like they have done previously, are also actively blocking and preventing the UN of any other independent investigations into the shootings.

    Even if their honest to goodness intention was to only “wound” their targets with live ammunition, that would still be an unjustifiable and disproportionate use of of military force against an unarmed non-violent civilian population. No different to Assad dropping bombs on protesting civilians in Aleppo and killing and wounding 2000. There is simply NO justifying this behavior. Period! Even if these people were being forced to protest while Hamas held their relives captive on threat of death, it would not justify the illegal and disproportionate use of military force. In fact, some would argue that, if anything, it would oblige and require Israel to offer them assistance and even refuge!

    Israel and its military trying to spin this as an “accident” is like Germany trying to say it was just an accident that all those poor Jews they targeted for the concentration camps ended up dying, or Rwandan Hutus saying that it was just an accident that they chopped off the hands of Tutsis, or the Apartheid government of South Africa saying that it was just and accident that they killed all those protesting black students in Soweto.

    Sorry, but the world isn’t buying this BS anymore! STOP SHOOTING AT KIDS!

    • eljay
      May 1, 2018, 12:32 pm

      || Jasonius Maximus: … it’s no accident that IDF snipers were deliberately targeting and shooting non-combatant civilian targets. … ||

      It was an accident sits better with Westerners than They should be glad we didn’t massacre every one of them*!
      ______________
      (*Based on Lieberman’s assertion that there are no innocent people in Gaza and jon s’ Zionist “morality” that not-innocent people are fair game for massacre.)

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