On March 19, 2009, Ha’aretz newspaper published the “testimonies” of Israeli soldiers, graduates of the Oranim Pre-military Academy led by Danny Zamir, alleging human rights violations during the fighting in Gaza. Though the accounts, which were later refuted, were based entirely on hearsay and speculation, and Danny Zamir wrote that “individual accounts were never intended to serve as a basis for broad generalizations and summary conclusions,” NGOs adopted these claims without verification and presented them as evidence of widespread Israeli abuses.

Israeli NGOs – including Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Bimkom, B’Tselem, Gisha, Hamoked, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), Yesh Din, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), Rabbis for Human Rights, and Adalahclaimed that the “revelations represent only the tip of the iceberg, and that they are the result of norms of conduct that have taken hold throughout the army.”  These groups also accused the Israeli attorney general of “whitewashing suspected crimes in Gaza.” Amnesty International rejected the army’s investigation, stating that the accounts “sound[] familiar [to other cases of] unwarranted attacks on defenceless civilians, many of them children.”