Testimonies from Israeli soldiers have cast doubt on the legality of Israel’s tactics during last summer’s war in Gaza.
Interviews with about 60 combatants alleged operations disregarded civilian safety.
The claims of lax rules feature in the report by human rights group Breaking the Silence.
“There was something called an ‘artillery softening’ which basically meant the artillery corps fired thousands of shells into densely populated neighbourhoods, as an attempt to prepare those neighbourhoods for the entrance of the soldiers,” explained Avihai Stollar Director of the Research Department at ‘Breaking the Silence’. “Once pamphlets were dropped warning the civilians that they had to escape then from that point on, there was no need to distinguish between civilians and militants.”
In the report one soldier explained that the rules of engagement were to regard anyone inside Gaza looking in their direction as a threat. The Israeli military accuses Hamas of encouraging civilian casualties by fighting from inside residential areas.
More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed during the 50-day conflict, just over half of whom were civilians.