Israeli soldiers break ranks over Gaza war
Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:24pm EDT
By Jeffrey Heller
JERUSALEM, March 19 (Reuters) - Israel's military was rocked on Thursday by Gaza war veterans' accounts of soldiers' killings of civilians and allegations that deep contempt for Palestinians pervaded its ranks.
The soldiers, alumni of a military academy, gathered last month to discuss their experiences in the 22-day Israeli offensive that ended in January, a campaign that Palestinians and human rights groups have said warranted war crimes probes.
Disclosing details of the session, the institution's director said the soldiers pointed to an atmosphere within the military of "unbridled contempt for, and forcefulness against, the Palestinians".
"They talked about unwarranted fire on Palestinian civilians. There was also talk of vandalism to property," Danny Zamir, head of the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military programme, told Israel Radio.