I originally posted the below [slightly amended] on Twitter a couple of weeks ago via the Justpaste.it site:
Just a quick comment about the fatuous, no make that nauseous, claim that Israel doesn’t target civilians as a matter of policy. Policy is not judged by a document stored in a filing cabinet of the ministry of interior. Rather policy is gauged by the general conduct of the IDF/police officers on the ground as well as the track record of the prosecutorial authorities and judiciary in punishing infractions of official policy. In that respect the evidence is overwhelming. The IDF as well as the Israeli civilian police force operates with complete disregard for the sanctity of Palestinian life, employing an effective policy of “shoot first on the slightest pretext, don’t bother with any questions later”. Even those few crimes which are prosecuted and result in a conviction are “punished” with derogatory, paltry sentences, reinforcing to other serving force members that the killing of Palestinians is not something the Israeli judiciary is unduly concerned about.A dearth of evidence from various human rights organisations exists to support such a claim and I challenge anyone with a conscience to review it and remain impassive.
There is a pervasive culture of impunity when it comes to the violation of Palestinian rights, including the most basic right – that to life. One has only to contrast the truculence of the Israeli authority’s response to the execution of three Jewish illegal settler teenagers and the effete, dilatory manner in which they have handled the “investigation” into the murder of Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khedair, to appreciate the truth of this.
In summary policy is judged by actions – the actual ground reality – not by words or documents.
Subsequent to posting the above I chanced upon the following excerpt from an Amnesty International report via the blog site of Inayat Bunglawala:
“Israeli forces have displayed a callous disregard for human life by killing dozens of Palestinian civilians, including children, in the occupied West Bank over the past three years with near total impunity….[The report] describes mounting bloodshed and human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) as a result of the Israeli forces’ use of unnecessary, arbitrary and brutal force against Palestinians since January 2011.
“In all cases examined by Amnesty International, Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers did not appear to be posing a direct and immediate threat to life. In some, there is evidence that they were victims of wilful killings, which would amount to war crimes.
“The report presents a body of evidence that shows a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings and unwarranted injuries of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces in the West Bank,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.
“The frequency and persistence of arbitrary and abusive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers and police officers – and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators – suggests that it is carried out as a matter of policy.”
Need I say any more?