I find this offensive in the extreme. I was an infantry soldier in defiensive shield. My unit all reservist did everything in our power to protect non combatants, including holding fire even when fired upon as we knew that non combatants were in our path. Every place we went we left food for residents caught in their homes. During this action we had heavy machine guns fired at us rpg;s fired at our vehicles and were ambushed by fighters traveling in Ambulances. This may or maynot have been war but it was certainly an armed conflict that 2 sides were fighting in. The israeli public had had enough of being a bomb range and to be honest the israeli government had given many warnings the reality of terror attacks must end. Palestinian Militants have a responsibility too and need to be aware that Israel governments react to their actions it is their role to protect the civilian population. The intifada was far more than passive resistance and to ignore that both sides have a right to live in peace ignores the realities of this conflict. Negotiations for peace imply that both sides negotiate and create a new reality ...... Amira as comfortable as it is to be liberal whilst writing on the pages of news papers, defending the weak does not neccesarily mean you are on the side of justice. FInally I finished that reserve duty in deep depression, i asked myself many questions as to why, but the issue of Post combat trauma, the need of soldiers to deal with issues, has no bearing on the rules of engagement, or the dangers of being in a combat zone.
Flogged Saudi blogger Raif Badawi named International Writer of Courage, PEN Pinter Prize co-recipie
from the article: 'We were supposed to enter quietly - instead we threw grenades'