I am a student who loves to learn and always dedicated in fighting for truth and justice. At the moment writing a report on the extent to which Israel should be charged for war crimes with its role in Operation Cast Lead.And would be grateful if you could answer these questions
– Do you believe that Operation Cast lead was carried out as an act of Self defence and if yes, Why?
Were you given orders to directly go and kill innocent people or were your instructions more specific than that.
To what extent could you say that none of the acts committed during the 22days was not a war crime?
I truly believe that Operation Cast Lead was carried out as a purely defensive operation. I had so many friends who lived within missle range from Gaza (in areas that are well within Israeli borders), that were spending their nights sleeping in bomb shelters and having their daily lives interupted with warning sirens. A bomb fell indiscriminately on a kindergarten classroom (which was thankfully empty at the time). The official mission was to damage Hamas’ fighting capabilities and to push them deep enough into Gaza to cut their range of firing rockets into Israel, and I believe these aims were achieved (as seen by the relative calm in the area – though it should be noted that rockets are still fired occasionally ie grad missile fell on the city of Rehovot yesterday).
I was never given orders to kill innocent people. I can even honestly that against general war tactics, we often went about things in a way the lessened the likelihood on injuring non-combatants, often at the elevated risk to ourselves. That said from aerial attacks and in other ground incursions, accidents happen in a large-scale operation. Buildings that were meant to be evacuated and from which militants were firing, were bombed. It was found out afterwards that there were in fact civilians in the buildings which were being used as human shields. I can tell you that as a human being, this is hurtful. Its a terrible situation that calls for thoughtful human beings to have to live with the knowledge that innocent people have died. Look to the terrorists who hide behind them….
Nothing that I personally experienced or did felt like a war crime to me. I believed fully in our mission and the work that we were doing as a very difficult but neccesary event to happen. It is only with a heavy heart that we go in and carry out missions. I can assure that given the choice, myself and my fellows soldiers would prefer to live in peace. But this is not the case, and good people are asked to carry out spiritually taxing missions in order to provide our own citizens with an enviroment in which they can go about their daily business and not live in fear of rocket attacks.
Thank you for your questions!