Israel created 'kill zones' in Gaza, targeting any civilian who enters them

Israel created 'kill zones' in Gaza, targeting any civilian who enters them
The "loose" rules of engagement being observed by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip allow civilians to be targeted in so-called "kill zones"
2 min read
01 April, 2024
The Israeli army is accused of committing war crimes in Gaza [Getty]

Anyone entering "kill zones" established by the Israeli army in Gaza is a legitimate target, Israeli military sources have told Haaretz, in a war that has seen Israel commit unprecedented horrors in the territory.

The Israeli army has "broad latitude to designate areas with loose rules of engagement where soldiers do not distinguish between civilians and combatants," Haaretz wrote, quoting a reserve officer.

This practise may have contributed to the killing of Palestinian civilians, the publication says.

Since the start of Israel’s war on Gaza nearly six months ago, there have been several videos showing unarmed civilians being shot and killed by Israeli forces.

Some of the incidents include the recent killing of four Palestinians in Gaza’s southern city of Khan Younis.

The policy may have also contributed to the killing of three Israeli hostages by the army in December. Israel says more than 130 hostages captured by Hamas on October 7 remain in Gaza, some of them presumed dead.

On Monday, Gaza’s health ministry put the death toll from Israel’s airstrikes and ground assault at 32,845, most of them women and children

Israel claims it does not intend to kill civilians but rather go after Hamas combatants, but it has received heightening criticism over the colossal death toll.

Many countries and rights organisations accuse Israel of committing war crimes and genocide in the Palestinian enclave. Earlier this year, the International Court of Justice said Israel must do everything to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza and take "immediate" measures for aid provisions, following a case filed by South Africa.

But the top court ruling, a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza last week, and global pleas to end the war have fallen on deaf ears in the Israeli government.

Haaretz reported in February that the Israeli army had begun an investigation into whether it broke international law during its offensive in Gaza.

The army was reportedly investigating "dozens of incidents" which took place during its war on Gaza, including the killing of civilians and apparent blunders related to Israeli soldier deaths.