The Israeli Army’s Excuses Won’t Help. Only War Criminals Kill Nine Innocent Civilians in Their Sleep

Anyone who bombs houses from a fighter jet in the middle of the night without checking who is inside is a war criminal. Whoever claims they did not intend to kill the nine members of the Palestinian al-Sawarkah family is trying to mislead and wash their hands of it, but their hands are not clean. They are dripping with the blood of innocents.

Maybe they did not intend to murder nine people in their sleep – five of whom were children and among them two infants – but they certainly did not do everything in their power to not harm them. No excuse will serve to justify the actions of the Israel Defense Forces, the Israeli intelligence and of course the Israel Air Force pilots.

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 50

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 50Haaretz

The audacious statements by Southern Command head Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi are an outstanding example of apathy and the loss of humanity: “Such things can happen,” he said innocently. Maybe his statement was a reference to one made by former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, who said that “it's like a light bump to the wing of the plane” when he was asked what he felt when he dropped a bomb that killed innocent civilians.

Not a word of guilt, not a sentence expressing regret, no acceptance of responsibility, no apology. Of course there's no point in talking about compensation, because the army doesn't see those who died as important. The IDF is the most moral army in the world, and Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are terrorist organizations. And those who kill nine helpless civilians sleeping in their own beds in their own home – what should they be called?

What else needs to happen so that Israelis begin to understand that their so beloved and admired IDF is a brutal army that has lost all of its inhibitions and that Gaza is not a target bank. That an army that invented a wanted man who never existed in order to justify the killing of a family is a sick army. That it's impossible to strike Gaza with fighter jets without killing innocent people. That there's not a single place in the densely populated enclave without civilians who don't have any shelter for salvation, no rocket alerts sirens and no Iron Dome defense systems. That Gaza is not just a hornet’s nest and home to terrorist compounds, but first and foremost a horribly crowded home to miserable people subject to the Israeli occupation that has never ended in the Strip.

Fourth and fifth generation refugees, who Israel imprisoned 13 years ago in the largest cage in the world and expects them to sit quietly, surrender and throw rice at the planes bombing them and at the fence that imprisons them.

Palestinians pray next to the bodies of members of the same family who were killed overnight in an Israeli airstrike in Deir al-Balah. AFP

The revelations that keep one from sleeping reported by Haaretz's Yaniv Kubovich on Thursday join Kubovich's November 15 report, describing the chain of events in Deir el-Balah in their entirety: An unbelievable reality in which the army bombs targets without checking what, and more importantly who, is inside.