A group of Israeli soldiers say widespread abuses were carried out on civilians during their action in Gaza.
The soldiers are part of an organisation called “Breaking the Silence”.
Amnesty International has accused both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes during the 22-day conflict.
Here’s what our Middle East Correspondent Paul Wood says about the latest allegations ..
“Until now, Israel always had a ready answer to allegations of war crimes in Gaza. Claims were, they said, Palestinian propaganda. Now the accusations of abuse are being made by Israeli soldiers. The common thread in the testimonies is that orders were given to prevent Israeli casualties whatever the cost in Palestinian lives.”
The report says that Israeli troops and the people who justify their actions are :
“slid[ing] together down the moral slippery slope”.
while an Israeli military spokeswoman described the report as :
” hearsay and word of mouth”
The moral argument has been picked up by others –
Here’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak :
“The IDF is one of the most ethical armies in the world, and operates according to the highest moral code”
So, is it possible to have a moral army – who , are after all, there to protect- and if necessary, kill -and to follow orders ?
Can you serve in any army and keep to your own moral code ?
Where should a soldier’s moral responsibilities lie? An inquiry is currently underway in Britain into the death of a 26 year-old Iraqi man, Baha Mousa, who died while being held by British soldiers. His post-mortem found he had extensive injuries “consistent with a systematic beating”.
Is the responsibility of soldiers first and foremost to their comrades and their country, and to civilians and prisoners of war second? If you’re fighting a war can you apply the same code of ethics to all people involved, or is it right that there is a priority?