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“Breaking the Silence”
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Join us for a public reading of testimonies from soldiers who served in Gaza.
Friday, 25.05.18 | Habima Square, Tel Aviv | 11:00
We, soldiers sent to the Gaza Strip to carry out violent rounds of combat, implement the IDF’s open fire regulations, and partake in the devastating destruction of the lives and property of millions of people, state loud and clear: demonstrations must not be dispersed with live fire.
On Monday, May 14, new red lines were crossed in Israel. The unconscionable killing of unarmed demonstrators along the separation barrier with Gaza will be disgracefully immortalized in history books on Israel and its over 50-year-long regime of occupation.
Lethal fire must be the last resort after all other means have been exhausted. The 60 and counting civilians killed, join the dozens of unarmed Gazans who have already been shot dead by IDF fire since demonstrations began in Gaza at the end of March. This inconceivable number attests to a distorted lenient open fire policy, proving yet again that as far as the State of Israel is concerned, Palestinian blood – and especially Gazan blood – is worthless.
Testimonies from dozens of soldiers who served in the Gaza Strip in the recent rounds of violence indicate a grave but clear picture – this is not mistaken misconduct, but rather a systematic open fire policy. The IDF’s attempts to retroactively incriminate demonstrators by deeming them Hamas activists, will not change the intolerable ease with which it fired at dozens of unarmed people, who were neither on lists of wanted persons, nor were they intelligence targets, and most of them didn’t seem to be endangering lives.
When Israel fights in Gaza, it is not combatting an enemy state, but rather subjects living under its military rule. When the IDF fires, it does not stand on the border between two sovereign states, but rather on the barrier that separates the State of Israel from the territories it occupies. There are millions of people living under the Israeli occupation in Gaza. Our control of the Gaza Strip may look different from our rule over the West Bank, but it is equally destructive and violent, and must be brought to an end. The grave incidents that have been taking place in Gaza over the past few weeks must be seen in the light of the long-lasting occupation, which has been eroding our souls, dulling our senses, and stripping us of our most basic moral and human values.
It is impossible to rule over another nation without using violence and harming innocent people. Our right to security does not justify the bloodshed of thousands of demonstrators who have been shot with live ammunition, and we refuse to remain silent when the government’s only solution is to send us to Gaza time and again, for further violence and occupation.
After three years of incitement and accusations of treason and espionage, the truth has finally come to light: the attorney general has dealt a fatal blow to the Samaria settler organization "Ad Kan," determining that there are no grounds for such accusations. The decision was in line with previous findings from the Israel Police, the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division, and the Shin Bet security service. The bottom line? 'Ad Kan' lied. Channel 2 aired these lies on prime-time television, which inaugurated a government-led campaign of incitement against left-wing organizations; a three-year campaign during which the right-wing tried to initiate arrests, investigations, and direct attacks against activists. Each day you could read about another member of Knesset deeming us traitors in the newspaper. Yes, "Traitors." Today the campaign has crashed, and again it has been proven that the only liars in this story are those who pointed fingers at the rest of the world. We don't have in-house journalists or our own newspapers. We have you. Share now, so that everyone will know how veterans were publicly accused of treason, just to hide the reality of occupation from the public.
"Operation Cast Lead was different from any prior operation. The firepower, the scale of destruction, the amount of dead and wounded were all unprecedented in the brutal history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, military operations in Gaza ever since have proven that the means of combat first used in Cast Lead were no isolated incidents. In fact, these same trends have since recurred and even escalated". Read bts activist Avihai Stollar analysis of how we fight in the reaccuring operations in Gaza: https://goo.gl/5crGwY Read the full testimony: https://goo.gl/TsNveh Read our booklet from Operation Cast Lead: https://goo.gl/Zoac1s +972 Magazine