Israel’s armed forces delete tweet after unwittingly admitting to Gaza massacre

Palestine Gaza Israel
Ed Sykes

Israel’s armed forces have deleted a tweet after unwittingly admitting to the recent massacre in Gaza.

On 30 March, Israeli soldiers shot at protesting Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. At least 17 people died – 12 of those at the protests. Hundreds more suffered injuries. But far from claiming this massacre was an accident, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted:

everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed

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The tweet soon disappeared from the IDF’s Twitter feed, but people had already taken screenshots:

The SNP Friends of Palestine group on Facebook responded to this tweet by saying:

Planned, calculated, deliberate, determined and cold hearted… and also, by mistake, a full confession.

But almost no media outlets seemed to talk about this admission.

Wide condemnation

In the UK, however, there was widespread condemnation of Israel’s actions. Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, David LammyRichard Burden, and Chris Williamson were among those to speak out. Green MP Caroline Lucas also expressed her concern, along with Plaid Cymru MPs and the SNP’s Tommy Sheppard.

Actor and writer David Schneider, meanwhile, lamented the irony of the massacre coinciding with Passover celebrations:

But it was Israeli human rights group B’Tselem which had one of the loudest voices both before and after the massacre. A day before the event, it tweeted:

Then, as the events unfolded, it tweeted:

In the article above, B’Tselem’s executive director Hagai El-Ad wrote:

Israel’s ongoing control over millions of Palestinians is impossible without committing war crimes…

From time to time, control over another people requires days of killing and slaughter.

Israel’s position

Israel, however, said the protesters were part of a “hostile infiltration” orchestrated by Gaza’s Hamas government. An IDF spokesperson said all the people killed had engaged in violence. And Hamas itself reportedly acknowledged that five members of its military wing had died on 30 March.

Israel, the US and the EU have designated Hamas as a terrorist organisation. But the party, which rules the Gaza Strip, labels itself “a national resistance movement”.

Between 2001 and August 2014, rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza (not necessarily launched by Hamas) reportedly killed 30 civilians in Israel. During the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza alone, meanwhile, roughly 1,500 Palestinian civilians lost their lives, along with five civilians in Israel.

Taking a stand

B’Tselem is now calling on Israeli soldiers to disobey “illegal” orders to shoot protesters, and is launching a campaign around this issue on 5 April:

Ongoing massacres like the one on 30 March only push peace further away from Israel and Palestine. And until civilians and soldiers alike say ‘no more’, both sides – the occupier and the occupied – will effectively remain at war. And innocent civilians, as always, will be caught in the middle.

This situation cannot, and must not, go on.

Get Involved

– Join or support the Stop the War Coalition. Show your support for Veterans for Peace, who are fighting for peaceful solutions to the world’s problems. And take action with the Campaign Against Arms Trade.

– Also find out more about the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign; about the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement; and see other Canary articles on Palestine and Israel.

Featured image via screenshot

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