Generals accused of ordering Bethlehem ‘hits


An Israeli civil liberties group has accused top Israeli generals of ordering the assassination of Palestinian terrorists.

B’Tselem has demanded that the military brass be investigated on suspicion of ordering the killings of four Palestinian terrorist leaders in Bethlehem.

The organization said this week that the March 12 slayings of three Islamic Jihad chiefs and a senior Al-Aksa Brigades leader by Israeli special forces in Bethlehem had the hallmarks of an assassination.

Israel’s High Court of Justice has banned “extra-judicial killings” except in cases where the security services believe the target is en route to carry out an attack.

Military officials said the Bethlehem operation was mounted in order to arrest the Palestinians, but that they were killed when the commandos spotted their guns.

According to B’Tselem, the Israelis at the scene delivered death blows to the downed terrorists, suggesting the mission was intended to end in their deaths. B’Tselem called on the military judge advocate-general to investigate what orders were given by the generals who authorized the operation.

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