The war last summer between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead and vast areas reduced to rubble. On Monday a group of Israeli veterans released sobering testimony from soldiers that suggests permissive rules of engagement coupled with indiscriminate artillery fire contributed to the mass destruction and high numbers of civilian casualties in the coastal enclave. The organization of active and reserve duty soldiers, called Breaking the Silence, gathered testimonies from more than 60 enlisted men and officers who served in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.
The soldiers describe reducing Gaza neighborhoods to sand, firing artillery at random houses to avenge fallen comrades, shooting at innocent civilians because they were bored and watching armed drones attack a pair of women talking on cellular phones because they were assumed to be Hamas scouts. The 240-page report “This is How We Fought in Gaza 2014” was released Monday and accompanied by videotaped testimony.