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Israeli officers admit that most Gaza fatalities classified as ‘terrorists’ are civilians

April 1, 2024 at 10:37 am

Relatives wait near the bodies of Palestinians killed at Kuwait junction by Israeli forces in Gaza City on March 31, 2024 [Dawoud Abo Alkas/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli officers and soldiers have admitted that most of the fatalities classified by the army as “terrorists” during its war on the Gaza Strip are actually civilians, a report said Sunday.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz collected testimonies from officers and soldiers who have fought in Gaza during the war, which has been ongoing since 7 October 2023.

“The Israeli army says 9,000 terrorists have been killed since the Gaza war began,” the report said.

Israeli officials and soldiers, however, told Haaretz that “these are often civilians whose only crime was to cross an invisible line drawn by the Israeli army.”

“We were explicitly told that even if a suspect runs into a building with people in it, we should fire at the building and kill the terrorist, even if other people are hurt,” one soldier told the newspaper.

According to the testimonies of the officers and soldiers, the Israeli army fires at anyone entering the “kill zone” it has defined, whether armed or civilians.

A reserve officer said that “in practice, a terrorist is anyone the army has killed in the areas in which its forces operate.”

“They ask you how many, and I give a number based on what we see and understand on the ground, and we move on. It’s not that we invent bodies, but no one can determine with certainty who is a terrorist and who was hit after entering the combat zone of an Israeli force,” he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing severe criticism within Israel for failing to achieve the goals of the war on Gaza, particularly in eliminating the Palestinian group Hamas and returning Israeli hostages.

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