The BBC reports: “Any Israeli soldiers accused of war crimes in the Gaza Strip will be given state protection from prosecution overseas, the country’s PM has said.” At issue is Israel’s use of white phosphorous, a chemical agent that is not permitted in densely populated areas because it sticks to and severely burns human tissue.
In Israel, Prime Minister Olmert told a weekly cabinet meeting that soldiers who had put their lives on the line for their country need not fear prosecution for war crimes overseas.
“The commanders and soldiers that were sent on the task in Gaza should know that they are safe from any tribunal and that the State of Israel will assist them in this issue and protect them as they protected us with their bodies during the military operation in Gaza,” he said.
Israel’s military tactics have come under intense scrutiny as evidence has emerged of the high numbers of Palestinian civilians killed in Gaza.
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