Israeli officer admits ordering lethal strike on own soldier during Gaza massacre

Sep. 10 2014

The civilian population in Gaza is “a partner of terror” that “gets what they choose,” the top commander of the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade told the Israeli press recently, after orchestrating some of the deadliest episodes of butchery visited upon the Gaza Strip this summer.

Colonel Ofer Winter also admitted to ordering the mass-bombardment of an area where an Israeli soldier was know to be in order to prevent his capture alive by Palestinian resistance fighters — an army policy known as the Hannibal Directive.

These are just two of the many incriminating comments made by Winter in a lengthy and candid interview published in a paper-only edition of the Hebrew-language Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot on 15 August.

The interview took place near the end of Israel’s 51-day bombing campaign which killed more than 2,100 people in Gaza, the vast majority of them civilians — including more than 500 children. Israel expert Dena Shunra translated the interview for The Electronic Intifada.

In addition to justifying the mass killing of civilians in Gaza, Winter applauded the carpet bombing he ordered in Rafah as a necessary punishment and repeatedly invoked religious supremacy as a leading factor in what he views as a Jewish victory in Gaza.

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Government and opposition knock down 43 Israeli soldiers who want out

Scores of veterans of elite Israeli intelligence unit 8200 rallied to its defence Sunday after 43 comrades said they would no longer take part in its “injustices” against millions of Palestinians.

The open letter, which was sent to Israel’s political and military leadership last week, was one of the most high-profile expressions of conscientious objection in years.

The signatories – reservists and former members of 8200 – said the intelligence collected by the unit “was an integral part of Israel’s military occupation”, and that they would refuse to continue to serve.

As you probably know, there is an Islamic hadith that says:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.

This is quoted in Hamas’ charter.

Yediot Aharonot reports that Israel is planting trees to protect the railroad between Ashkelon and Sderot from rocket fire and especially from anti-tank missiles. Residents were concerned after a couple of Hamas missile attacks on vehicles near Gaza, and Israelis decides that a “green” solution was the best.

Now, Egyptian newspaper Youm7 - and many others - are seizing on this story as proof that the prophecy being revealed in the hadith is coming true!

The newspaper is claiming that Israel is deliberately planting gharqad trees to protect the trains. Most commentators associate the gharqud tree with the boxtree, which is much shorter than the ones pictured here.

Then again, since Allah’s word is true, whatever tree the Jews plant must be the gharqad!

For another great example of how Jews used a different type of tree to their advantage - the eucalyptus - check out the famous story of Eli Cohen.

Over 40 elite Israel reservists refuse to serve; protest “abuses” against Palestinians

Forty-three reservists from Israel’s elite army intelligence unit have announced their refusal to serve, accusing the military of “abuses” against Palestinians, in a letter published Friday.

The letter, circulated to Hebrew-language media, referred to the army’s intelligence work in the occupied Palestinian territories, including targeted assassinations and intrusive surveillance of civilians.

The soldiers and officers from the elite Unit 8200, which works closely with Israel’s security services, declared they no longer wanted to “continue to serve in this system, which harms the rights of millions of people,” according to daily Yediot Aharonot.

Veterans of Elite Israeli Unit Refuse Reserve Duty, Citing Treatment of Palestinians


JERUSALEM — Denouncing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians under occupation, a group of veterans from an elite, secretive military intelligence unit have declared they will no longer “take part in the state’s actions against Palestinians” in required reserve duty because of what they called “our moral duty to act.”

In a letter sent Thursday night to their commanders as well as Israel’s prime minister and army chief, 43 veterans of the clandestine Unit 8200 complained that Israel made “no distinction between Palestinians who are and are not involved in violence” and that information collected “harms innocent people.” Intelligence “is used for political persecution,” they wrote, which “does not allow for people to lead normal lives, and fuels more violence, further distancing us from the end of the conflict.”

The letter, revealed Friday in Israel’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper as well as The Guardian in Britain, echoes similar periodic protests by reservists over the years, including a group of 27 pilots who refused to participate in what Israel calls targeted assassinations, and 13 members of the vaunted commando unit known as Sayeret Matkal, both in 2003. But it is the first public collective refusal by intelligence officers rather that combat troops. Unit 8200 has a special role in Israeli society as a coveted pipeline to its high-technology industry.

“After our service we started seeing a more complex picture of a nondemocratic, oppressive regime that controls the lives of millions of people,” said one of the group’s organizers, a 32-year-old sergeant major who was on active duty from 2001 to 2005. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because the military prohibits Unit 8200 members from being publicly identified.

“There are certain things that we were asked to do that we feel do not deserve the title of self-defense,” he added in a telephone interview. “Some of the things that we did are immoral, and are against the things we believe in, and we’re not willing to do these things anymore.”

The new refuseniks said their group began a year ago and was not motivated by Israel’s battle with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip this summer, which a member said was “just another chapter in this cycle of violence.”

The timing is nonetheless powerful, coming after many longtime Israeli critics of the occupation complained that their voices were stifled during a unified rallying around the war effort.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said specific incidents mentioned in officers’ testimonies presented with the group’s letter would be examined, and that “ramifications” for refusing to serve — including possible criminal prosecution — would be handled individually. He disputed the general thrust of the letter, saying of Unit 8200, “there is special emphasis placed on the morality and ethics and proper procedures and what we expect.”

“We are facing a ruthless enemy that will carry out devastating attacks,” Colonel Lerner said. “As such, our intelligence needs to be, I would say, top of its professional capabilities in order to intercept that suicide bomber, in order to forewarn Israel when there is an attack that’s going to happen, to be able to get to them before they perform their bad deeds.”

In the testimony and in interviews, though, the Unit 8200 veterans described exploitative activities focused on innocents whom Israel hoped to enlist as collaborators. They said information about medical conditions and sexual orientation were among the tidbits collected. They said that Palestinians lacked legal protections from harassment, extortion and injury.

“Palestinians’ sex talks were always a hot item to pass on from one person in the unit to the other for a good laugh,” read one officer’s testimony.

Most of the people who signed the letter are in their late 20s or early 30s and had attained the rank of sergeant or lieutenant; many are still active reservists, though the organizers interviewed said none had served in recent months. That in part was because of what they called “gray refusal,” in which officers would avoid call-ups from friendly commanders.

A 26-year-old woman who was on active duty from 2006 and 2008 and now works at a technology start-up said that her refusal resulted partly from what she saw as a change in the military’s operations, or at least Israel’s response to it.

When 14 civilians were killed alongside a Palestinian commander targeted for assassination in 2002, she said, “it made huge waves throughout the media and in the army, there were committees to investigate.” In Gaza, “things similar to that and much worse happened,” she said, but “there was no talk about it.”

For a 29-year-old captain whose eight years in the unit ended in 2011, the transformational moment came in watching “The Lives of Others,” a 2006 film about the operations of the East German secret police.

“I felt a lot of sympathy for the victims in the film of the intelligence,” the captain said. “But I did feel a weird, confusing sense of similarity, I identified myself with the intelligence workers. That we were similar to the kind of oppressive intelligence in oppressive regimes really was a deep realization that makes us all feel that we have to take responsibility.”

Armee untersucht Gaza-Operationen

JERUSALEM (inn) – Die israelische Armee hat angekündigt, Angriffe im Kontext der Operation „Starker Fels“ zu untersuchen. Auch die Vereinten Nationen planen, eine weitere Untersuchungskommission einzurichten.

Nach einem Bericht der israelischen Tageszeitung „Yediot Aharonot“ hat der für Ermittlungen zuständige Generalleutnant Dan Efroni Untersuchungen in 99 Fällen in Auftrag gegeben. Demzufolge…

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