Assaf, a soldier in the Israeli army, pressed the trigger, firing scores of bullets as the body fell to the ground. "He ran and I started shooting for a few seconds. He fell. I was a machine. I fire. I leave and that's that. We never spoke about it afterwards."
It was the summer of 2002, and Assaf and his armoured unit had been ordered to enter the Gaza town of Dir al Balah following the firing of mortars into nearby Jewish settlements.
His orders were, he told the Guardian, "'Every person you see on the street, kill him'. And we would just do it."
It was not the first time that Assaf had killed an innocent person in Gaza while following orders, but after his discharge he began to think about the things he did. "The reason why I am telling you this is that I want the army to think about what they are asking us to do, shooting unarmed people. I don't think it's legal."
- Israeli Soldiers Tell of Indiscriminate Killings by Army and a Culture of Impunity by Conal Urquhart; The Guardian, 6 Sept 2005.
Picture: Design on a T-shirt worn by Israeli soldiers from the "Carmon Team" course for
elite-unit marksmen in 2006, showing a drawing of a knife-wielding
Palestinian in the crosshairs of a gun sight, and the slogan, "You've
got to run fast, run fast, run fast, before it's all over." Below is a
drawing of Arab women weeping over a grave and the words: "And
afterward they cry, and afterward they cry." [The inscriptions are
riffs on a popular song.]
Source: Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashion 2009 (Ha'aretz); via Mondoweiss.