Israeli Pilot Refused To Fire
Missile At Palestinian Home

From Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc)

Gradually one chilling fact after the other is seeping into the international mainstream media. We decided to send you today the unusual news found in the ultra-nationalist Hebrew paper Hatzofeh - about a case of conscientious disobedience inside the Air Force...
The pilot of an Israeli helicopter gunship reportedly refused an order to shoot a missile at a Palestinian home. It happened on the early hours of Tuesday, April 9 - when an Israeli army regiment, supported by tanks and helicopter gunships, captured the Palestinian town of Dura, near Hebron in the southern West Bank. During several hours of fighting when the army overcame the resistance of local Palestinian militias, the regimental commander ordered the pilot of a helicopter gunship to shoot a missile at a Palestinian home, in which five alleged terrorists were hiding, in order to "liquidate them" (sic).
The pilot refused, telling the regimental commander there might be civilians in the house. The radio debate continued for a long time, with the helicopter hovering over the house. The commander told the pilot that the five terrorists could be exactly pin-pointed in the house and again ordered him to shoot. The pilot again refused, and at a certain point left the vicinity of the house and cycled the town. When he got back to the point above the house, the commander told him that the terrorists had disappeared, but ordered him to shoot at the house nevertheless. The pilot again refused. After two hours, he finally shot one burst from the helicopter's cannon, but near the house rather than at it. Soldiers nearby on the ground described the shot as "perfunctory, meant to hit nothing".
The story is published today (Monday, April 15) by Haggai Huberman of the extreme-right paper Hatzofeh. Huberman's account is clearly the regiment commander's version, accusing the pilot of "helping five terrorists escape" and dismissing the possibility that there had been civilians inside the house in question; the pilot's viewpoint is not given.

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