They’re not innocents, they are the enemy.

From: Military investigations whitewash Israeli war crimes

IDF Commander of the northern troops Gadi Eizencout first described this strategy in an interview with Yedioth Aharonoth last October. He explained, “What happened to the Dahiyah neighbourhood of Beirut in 2006 will happen to each village from which Israel is fired on. We will apply disproportionate force and inflict huge damage and destruction. In our mind, these are not civilian villages but army bases… the next war must be decided quickly, aggressively, and without seeking international approval.”

“This is not a recommendation, this is a plan and it has already been approved,” he continued.

Colonel Gabriel Siboni wrote a report for the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a military think tank in Tel Aviv, at about the same time. He stated, “With an outbreak of hostilities, the IDF will need to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate to the enemy’s actions and the threat it poses. Such a response aims at inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes.” [Emphasis added]

Major-General Giora Eiland, writing for the INSS, goes further. He argues that Israel was fighting the wrong enemy—Hezbollah—during the 2006 Lebanon war, and in the next war should target the government and civilian infrastructure.

Major-General Eiland argues in an article on Ynet, “The only good thing that happened in the last war was the relative damage caused to Lebanon’s population. The destruction of thousands of homes of ‘innocents’ preserved some of Israel’s deterrent power.”

As Azarov explained, “It transpires that there was no intention to comply with basic principles of international humanitarian law, such as the principle of distinction or the obligation to use appropriate precautions before launching an attack”.

“The soldiers’ testimonies are what unequivocally exemplifies the fact that this was the overarching goal of the whole war— it was systematic and based on policy decisions,” she continued.

This is practically the definition of a war crime. Dehumanising the enemy, striking the civilian population intentionally, trying to create as much misery as possible. These are the tactics of fascism, pure and simple. There are no excuses. There are no justifications. There is nothing else to say.