Israeli soldiers routinely shoot, execute Palestinian civilians in Gaza: Report

ISTANBUL: Israeli forces routinely executed Palestinian civilians during military operations in the Gaza Strip, according to testimonies of army soldiers.

Six soldiers, who spoke with Tel Aviv-based website +972 and Local Call news site, said troops shot at civilians simply because they entered an area defined by the army as a ‘no-go zone.’

‘If we see someone in a window looking at us, he is a suspect. You shoot,’ one soldier said.

Various sources said orders given to soldiers to shoot without restrictions gave them a way to blow off steam or relieve the dullness of their daily routine.

‘I’m bored, so I shoot,’ an Israeli soldier recounted. ‘I personally fired a few bullets for no reason, into the sea or at the sidewalk or an abandoned building.’

Another soldier said the Israeli military would open extensive fire on ‘seemingly unpopulated or abandoned areas’ for no reason.

‘Such orders would come directly from the commanders of the company or battalion in the field,’ another soldier said.

Describing th
e approach used in Gaza, a soldier stated, ‘Shoot first, ask questions later.’

‘That was the consensus … No one will shed a tear if we flatten a house when there was no need, or if we shoot someone who we didn’t have to,’ he added.

The soldiers also described how the corpses of dead Palestinian civilians were left to ‘decay and be eaten by stray animals.’

According to them, the military hid these bodies before the arrival of international aid convoys ‘so that images of people in advanced stages of decay don’t come out.’

Two of the soldiers also testified to a systematic policy of setting Palestinian homes on fire after occupying them.

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by Palestinian group Hamas.

More than 38,200 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and over 88,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Nine months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered it to immediately halt its military operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

Source: Anadolu Agency