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IDF

  • One year since Gaza: Why there's no such thing as a 'precision strike'

    You often hear of an airstrike on Gaza being labeled a 'precision strike.' But how precise can a half- or one-ton bomb be when dropped on an area the size of Detroit? “In Gaza, we use bombs that are extremely precise, and strike only Hamas targets – not civilians…” - Lt. Omer, Israeli Air Force Pilot “None of us were fighting. We were not told that we would be attacked… [M]y sister, my mother and my children all died… We all died that day, even those who survived.” - Survivor of an airstrike in Khan Younis during Operation Protective Edge,…

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  • IDF soldiers killed Palestinian teen who posed no danger, report finds

    Israeli soldiers ambushed three Palestinian teenagers with live ammunition, killing one, despite the fact that they posed no immediate threat. Neither the soldiers nor their commanders will face any charges. An IDF commander ordered soldiers to fire live ammunition directly at Palestinian teenagers who broke through part of the separation fence, resulting in the killing of 14-year-old Yousef a-Shawamreh last year. This, despite the fact they they posed no immediate danger, according to a B'Tselem report released Wednesday criticizing the military's decision to close the investigation without indictment. [tmwinpost] On March 19, 2014, three Palestinians – an 18-year-old and two minors, one of…

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  • No indictment in killing of four Palestinian kids on Gaza beach

    Israeli army prosecutor decides not to open a criminal probe into a widely reported-on air strike against four children playing on a Gaza City beach during last year's war. The MAG says it will, however, investigate the shelling of a medical clinic 'in honor' a fallen soldier. The Israeli military will not seek any indictments over the killing of four Palestinian children on the beach in Gaza last summer, the Military Advocate General announced on Thursday. The four children were killed in a July 16 airstrike that targeted them while they played on a Gaza beach adjacent to where a sizable…

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  • IDF displaces 10 Palestinian families to conduct military drills

    The IDF orders Palestinian residents from the northern Jordan Valley to evacuate their own homes in order to make way for military drills, which have previously damaged farmland and infrastructure. The Israeli army evacuated 10 families in the community of Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley on Wednesday morning, according to the Israeli human rights NGO B'Tselem. The evacuation was ordered so that the military could conduct training exercises near to the families' homes, on land owned by the residents of the community. [tmwinpost] B'Tselem further reports that the families were requested to leave at 6 a.m., and only…

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  • When an entire IDF platoon takes over your roof — for a photo

    A two-minute video manages to perfectly capture the day-to-day banality of living under a military regime.  I was able to count 37 soldiers. At least 37. One after another, each with his own weapon and combat vest, they climb up to roof the Abu Haya family's home — located in the section of Hebron under direct Israeli military control. [tmwinpost] Why? It's unclear. They don't speak with the members of the family. Or rather, they don't explain. They simply utter things such as "close the door," and "turn off the camera," all while some of the soldiers are clearly enjoying…

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  • Playing with fire: IDF to use new weapon on West Bank protests

    A new type of sponge-tipped bullet introduced in East Jerusalem last summer has broken arms, fractured faces, destroyed eyesight and killed a teenager. Now a similar projectile is slated for use against Palestinians in the West Bank. Following the introduction last summer of a new type of sponge-tipped bullet into the Israel Police’s arsenal, the Israeli army is now set to begin using a similar projectile in order to disperse demonstrations in the West Bank, according to Ynet [Heb]. The new bullets will be phased in during the coming weeks as a pilot, following which they will be distributed among…

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  • Why is Matti Friedman so mad at Breaking the Silence?

    A former AP reporter who crusades against the international media's alleged anti-Israel bias takes aim at the Israeli NGO of veteran soldiers in an article that is long on ... well, length. But short on substance.  By Mairav Zonszein and Lisa Goldman Earlier this month, the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence released a report about the army’s 50-day incursion into Gaza last summer. Titled “This is How We Fought in Gaza 2014,” it is comprised of more than 60 oral testimonies collected from soldiers and officers. The overriding theme of the eyewitness accounts is that soldiers going into Gaza were…

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  • How I became involved with Breaking the Silence

    When I ran into an old classmate who suggested that I testify, I told him I had nothing to tell. He insisted, and only then I realized how wrong I was. By Avihai Stollar Back in 2008, I ran into Dotan, a former classmate from high school. We started chatting and he told me he was active in an organization called Breaking the Silence. He told me that its members are former soldiers who had served in the Occupied Territories and now strive to expose the Israeli public to the day-to-day reality of the occupation. To this end, he said,…

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  • Chronicle of a tragedy foretold in Gaza

    If there's one takeaway from the newly published Breaking the Silence report, it's that the IDF is most certainly not the most moral army in the world. By Ido Even Paz Breaking the Silence member Idan Barir published an article during last summer's Gaza war, in which he warned against the firing of artillery into densely populated areas such as the Gaza Strip. The use of a ‘’statistical’’ weapon, he wrote, would bring about disastrous consequences, due to its inherent imprecision. [tmwinpost] Now, nearly a year after the last shell of Operation Protective Edge fell silent, it has become clearly…

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  • How not to be sexually harassed in the IDF

    May Fatal is a young soldier who was sexually harassed and perhaps stalked by her superior in the army. That’s nothing new. Sexual harassment in the IDF has been a dirty, loosely kept secret for decades, known to most women and plenty of men in Israel. Few women ever go public with their experience, and even fewer do so with their own identity. [tmwinpost] Last year, Fatal submitted a complaint against her commander Lt. Col. Liran Hajbi, a battalion commander in the Givati combat brigade, within the army system. The case made the press but she remained anonymous. In December, military prosecutors reached a plea bargain…

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  • Testimonies: 'This is How We Fought in Gaza'

    Breaking the Silence, an organization of Israeli combat veterans who want to expose the Israeli public to the realities of the occupation, publishes a report compiling over 60 testimonies of soldiers and officers who served in 2014's Gaza war, Operation Protective Edge. The testimonies in this collection close the yawning gaps between what the IDF and government spokespersons told the public about the combat that took place in Gaza, and the reality described by the soldiers who took part in the operation. The testimonies reveal the guiding military principle of “minimum risk to our forces, even at the cost of…

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  • Gunning for destruction in Gaza: ‘You want to see people in pieces’

    36,000 artillery shells, tank shells, mortars, anti-tank missiles and munitions, alongside an ubiquitous use of armored bulldozers, razed streets and districts to the ground during last summer's Gaza war. According to a newly published Breaking the Silence report, this is exactly what the Israeli army wanted. In On Photography, the essayist Susan Sontag reflects on how our reliance on the photographic image has inverted our concept of reality. So accustomed have we become to recorded images showing us things we otherwise would not witness, that what cameras show us defines the boundaries of our reality. Therefore, Sontag argues, if and…

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  • Israeli army encloses 7,000 Palestinians in West Bank village

    IDF openly tells the 7,000 residents of Hizma that they are being collectively punished for the stone-throwing of a few Palestinians. The Israeli army and Border Police closed off both entrances to the Palestinian village of Hizma in the West Bank on Monday afternoon, in response to what the military claimed were incidents of stone-throwing in the area. Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem reported that Hizma's 7,000 residents were also prevented from leaving the village. A sign in Arabic was posted next to one of the barriers, reading: "To residents of the area: Several of you are responsible for carrying…

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