IDF: HRW report on 'white flags' based on unreliable reports

The Human Rights Watch report which claims that IDF soldiers killed eleven Palestinian civilians holding "white flags" in the Gaza Strip is "based on unreliable witness reports," the IDF said in a statement released Thursday. "Moreover," the statement went on, HRW "didn't bother to give the report to the IDF before releasing it to the public via the media, in order to allow for in-depth investigation." The army stressed that IDF soldiers were under orders to "honor the 'white flag' as a sign of surrender... and to avoid harming" anyone raising such a flag. HRW presented the report at a press conference on Thursday morning, alleging that most of the 11 were women and children, and that they were killed in seven separate incidents during Operation Cast Lead.