Israeli Soldier Charged with Killing Gaza Woman Says He was Following Orders
An Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldier identified only as “S” says that he was following his commander’s orders when he shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian woman waving a white flag during the 2008 “Operation Cast Lead” invasion of Gaza.
“S” says that he killed the woman, who he didn’t realize was a civilian, only after firing several warning shots. As seven people approached his position, “I fired in the air,” he recalled. “But they continued to approach, so then I began firing at their legs… so that they’d turn away, not to injure their legs. But they still kept coming. And then I fired at the upper bodies and hit one of them.”
“S” then said his commander asked him who fired and why, and seemed satisfied with his explanation. But about half an hour later, his company commander arrived and excoriated “S” for the killing. “You’re a cold-blooded murderer, you’ll go to hell,” he was told. When “S” protested and pointed out that he was following the commander’s orders, he was told to “shut up” and informed that he would be kicked out of the company.
“S” says that he was told that anyone who approached him was a potential terrorist. “Even if they have a white flag with peace written on it, you shoot,” he said.
He is now facing trial for “killing an unknown person,” a rare and serious offense.