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Israeli army admits violating purity of arms

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israeli army admits violating purity of arms


12/11/2004 10:50:00 AM GMT


After four years of fighting against Palestinian resistance fighters, the head of the israeli Army has admitted that his soldiers have become de-sensitized to killing.


Lieutenant-General Moshe Ya'alon made the announcement while responding to criticism of the israeli Defence Force over last week’s killing of an unarmed and wounded Palestinian.


The israeli army has come under intense scrutiny over the past weeks over several incidents including the killing of a 13-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl, Iman al-Hams, and another incident in which soldiers posed with the bodies of dead Palestinians.


And last week israeli soldiers killed an unarmed and wounded Palestinian, Mahmoud Kamil, a member of Jihad movement.


Two witnesses testified that Kamil was lying on the ground pleading for medical treatment before an israeli soldier shot him dead.


The israeli military has revealed that so far this year the israeli army has killed 148 Palestinians in the West Bank.


Of those killed, 30 were innocent civilians.


Also yesterday, the israeli forces shot dead a seven year-old girl, Rana Siam, in the southern Gaza strip. The girl's father said that Rana was hit by a bullet while having a meal with the rest of the family members.


Last month a famous israeli newspaper published pictures showing israeli soldiers posing with the bodies of dead Palestinians. One of the pictures showed a cigarette put in the mouth of one of the dead men.


Ya'alon acknowledged this week that the israeli troops have had their senses dulled by four long years of war.


However, General Ya'alon admitted that this wasn’t an excuse for violating the army's code of purity of arms. And asserted that the military will launch an investigation into the killing of Mahmoud Kamil.


"We found faults with the way the force acted. We are not closing the case. To the contrary, I want a complete and independent investigation to better understand what happened'', General Ya'alon told reporters.


Despite crimes committed by the israeli army, israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon insists that the army is as "more moral than any other army I know".


Sharon justified the israeli soldiers’ acts saying that they were waging a difficult campaign to stop what he described as 'murderers' and 'terrorists'


Al Jazeera

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israel admits killing civilians


12/9/2004 12:00:00 PM GMT


The israeli military admitted that at least 148 innocent Palestinian civilians were killed by israeli troops in the West Bank since the begining of this year.


A senior israeli officer told israeli army radio on Wednesday that “148 civilians and 119 terrorists have been killed in 2004�, adding that “at least 29 were innocent victims killed by mistake.�


He also said that about 3,000 Palestinians are currently detained in israeli jails.


Another israeli military spokesman confirmed the death toll but said that many of those killed were fighters “involved in the preparation of attacks but not actually armed�.


On the other hand, the israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, said that 187 people were killed in the West Bank and that 111 of those killed didn’t participate in the fighting.


Also, army chief of staff General Moshe Yaalon said that 70 percent of all victims of the Palestinian “intifada� or uprising were innocent civilians and warned the military against losing its “moral values�.


The report comes as the israeli army faces mounting pressure over several incidents including the brutal shooting of a Palestinian schoolgirl and the killing of an unarmed and wounded man.


At least 3,500 Palestinians have lost their lives since the outbreak of the intifada in September 2000.


Al Jazeera

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