Sunday, February 15, 2009

IDF Probe Suggests Its Destruction of Gaza Homes is Indefensible

Haaretz, February 15, 2009 - Israel Defense Forces investigations into last month's offensive in the Gaza Strip indicate the army could face significant difficulties justifying the scale of destruction of civilian homes during the fighting. A military source involved in the investigation told Haaretz, "It's clear to us that in a small portion of the combat sectors immeasurable damage was caused, and that is very difficult to justify from a legal perspective, particularly if such justifications are called for in legal proceedings with international organizations."

In the course of fighting, the IDF destroyed hundreds of houses in different sectors, and Palestinian sources estimate several thousands of houses suffered damage. Some of the homes were struck as a result of aerial strikes, others during ground fighting in densely-built urban areas.

Still others were damaged by bulldozers or in controlled explosions according to the orders of battalion and brigade commanders on the ground. However, those making the decisions were often not the brigade commanders themselves, but support staff such as operational commanders....

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