Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Philadelphia Bulletin: Israel Challenges Human Rights Report Alleging that Israeli Troops Killed Civilians Holding Up White Flags

by David Bedein

JERUSALEM - On Thursday, The Israeli army issued a statement in which it attacked Human Rights Watch's latest report on Israel's January incursion into Gaza, which claimed s that IDF soldiers killed 11 Palestinian civilians holding “white flags.” The Israeli army claimed that the report was based on fabricated eyewitness reports.

The wartime reality in the Gaza Strip was made especially complex due to the intense nature of combat and Hamas' strategic decion to locate the battlefield in the midst of populated civilian areas

The Israeli army produced films of Hamas fighers shooting from behind white flags as cover for belligerent action and to protect themselves from return fire.

In the words of the Israeli army spokesperson, “Merely displaying a white flag does not automatically grant immunity, and in cases of suspicion that a person holding a white flag is endangering security forces, they are authorized to take necessary precautionary steps and, in accordance with rules of engagement, to verify and neutralize the threat.”

View this story in the Philadelphia Bulletin
View this story at Israel Behind the News

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