As if firing at everything in sight was a new invention!
A high-ranking officer has acknowledged for the first time that the Israeli army went beyond its previous rules of engagement on the protection of civilian lives in order to minimise military casualties during last year’s Gaza war. . . .
The officer, who served as a commander during Operation Cast Lead, made it clear that he did not regard the longstanding principle of military conduct known as ‘means and intentions’ – whereby a targeted suspect must have a weapon and show signs of intending to use it before being fired upon – as being applicable before calling in fire from drones and helicopters in Gaza last winter. A more junior officer who served at a brigade headquarters during the operation described the new policy – devised in part to avoid the heavy military casualties of the 2006 Lebanon war – as one of ‘literally zero risk to the soldiers’.
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The British were operating in accordance with an order that they should show a ruthless disregard for civilians, who, consequently, were killed and maimed in large numbers. ‘There is no front in these operations’, the order said. ‘We may find it difficult to distinguish friend from foe. Always use the maximum force available to ensure wiping out any hostilities we may meet. If one uses too much force, no harm is done. If one uses too small a force, and it has to be extricated, we will suffer casualties and encourage the enemy’.