Al Jazeera reports that, in what amounts to acts of war crime, Israeli soldiers were instructed to shoot civilians in Gaza last summer:
The 237-page report by the Israeli advocacy group Breaking the Silence described how the Israeli military (IDF) left Gaza devastated after it invaded the Palestinian territory last July with the stated aim of halting Hamas rocket fire.
“From the testimonies given by the officers and soldiers, a troubling picture arises of a policy of indiscriminate fire that led to the deaths of innocent civilians,” said Yuli Novak, director of Breaking the Silence. “We learn from the testimonies that there is a broad ethical failure in the IDF’s rules of engagement, and that this failure comes from the top of the chain of command, and is not merely the result of ‘rotten apples.’”
While Israel and its supporters will no doubt wish to split hairs over this one, claiming that no war crimes were committed as there was no declaration of war between Israel, an internationally recognized state, and Gaza, a part of Palestinian-held territories who now have only the position of an observer state at the UN, Israel’s deliberate targeting of the civilians in Gaza clearly show that in order to deal with the reality of state- and/or culture-sanctioned behaviour as it, we need broader interpretations of the international law on all conflicts involving the use of arms.
That, like their U.S. counterparts, Israeli army and its soldiers now allow themselves this degree of moral license also shows the extent of moral rot the politics of power and depredation inevitably produce.