IDF accused of unjustifiably killing civilians in Gaza offensive

In a section of the UN's Goldstone Report, titled "Deliberate attacks against the civilian population," particularly harsh and detailed accusations are leveled against the IDF. "These incidents indicate that the instructions given to the Israeli forces moving into Gaza provided for a low threshold for the use of lethal fire against the civilian population," the report concludes. The authors summarize their findings: "The Mission investigated 11 incidents in which serious allegations of direct attacks with lethal outcome were made against civilians. There appears to have been no justifiable military objective pursued in any of them. "The first two incidents concern alleged attacks by Israeli armed forces against houses in the al-Samouni neighbourhood of Gaza during the initial phase of the ground invasion. "The following group of seven incidents concern the alleged shooting of civilians who were trying to leave their homes to walk to a safer place, waving white flags and, in some of the cases, following an injunction from the Israeli armed forces to do so. In the last of these seven cases, a house was allegedly shelled with white phosphorous, killing five and injuring others. Two further members of the family were allegedly shot by Israeli troops as they tried to evacuate the wounded to a hospital," the report continues. "In the following incident, a mosque was targeted during the early evening prayer, resulting in the death of 15. In many cases, the Israeli armed forces allegedly obstructed emergency medical help to the wounded. A further incident concerns the bombing of a family house, killing 22 family members. In the last of the incidents described, a crowd of family and neighbours at a condolence tent was attacked with flechettes."