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Gaza: out of control Israeli troops ‘do what they want’

April 3, 2024 at 3:21 pm

Israeli soldiers rest near their vehicles at a position in southern Israel along the border with the Gaza Strip on January 9, 2024 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

The killing of seven aid workers in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army on Monday night has exposed a disturbing lack of discipline and control within the ranks of the Israeli occupation forces, according to army sources who spoke to Haaretz. The sources revealed that the incident, which took place in Deir Al-Balah, was a result of officers and soldiers violating Israel Defence Force (IDF) regulations and orders, rather than a lack of coordination between the army and aid organisations.

“In Gaza, everyone does as he pleases,” a source from the intelligence branch told Haaretz, accusing the IDF’s Southern Command of trying to deflect blame for the attack on employees of the World Central Kitchen charity. The source added that “every commander sets the rules for himself” and interprets the rules of engagement as they see fit, despite army regulations requiring senior officers to give final approval for actions against sensitive targets like aid organisations.

READ: Canada condemns Israel strike on Gaza aid workers, demands full probe

The IDF and the Defence Ministry claimed initially that the killing of the aid workers was due to poor coordination between field troops and aid organisation officials. However, the sources criticised Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Herzl Halevi for this portrayal, calling it “puzzling”.

“You can set up another 20 administrations or war rooms, but if someone doesn’t decide to put an end to the conduct of some of the troops inside Gaza, we’ll see more incidents like this,” the intelligence branch source warned.

The revelations paint a picture of an Israeli army that is out of control in Gaza, with officers and soldiers acting with impunity and disregarding established regulations and orders. The incident has raised serious concerns about the conduct of the IDF and its ability to operate within the bounds of international law and protect civilian lives in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israel’s killing of the seven aid workers has sparked a major backlash. Even traditional allies of the occupation state have condemned it and demanded an investigation. LBC presenter Nick Ferrari, for example, who is an outspoken supporter of Israel, urged Britain to suspend arms sale to the occupation state. He told listeners during his popular radio show that it was possible that weapons sold to Israel by Britain were used to kill three British citizens.

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