Saturday, March 21, 2015

More IDF investigations into Gaza operation

Maj Gen Danny Efroni, IDF
Military Advocate General
Haaretz has this story about six new investigations arising from last year's IDF Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. They include an attack on a UNRWA school on July 30, 2014. Excerpts:
The military police is already investigating other incidents that occurred during Operation Protective Edge, including the bombardment of the Abu Jama’e family home in Khan Yunis, in which 27 Palestinians were killed; the killing of four children by Israel Air Force fire on a Gaza beach; and the strike on an UNRWA school in Beit Hanun, which killed 15 Palestinians.
Military Advocate General Maj. Gen. Danny Efroni also ordered probes into claims that Palestinian prisoners were beaten in Hiza’a and Rafah. According to reports, four Palestinians were beaten for no reason after they were arrested and while handcuffed and blindfolded.  
Another investigation is to be opened into a complaint by a resident of Dir al-Balah that IDF soldiers looted his home after he fled with his family. The military police will also investigate another claim of looting in the home of a Khan Yunis resident who fled with his family during the fighting.
So far, 19 investigations of the army’s actions during Operation Protective Edge – two of which involved suspicion of looting – have been closed for lack of evidence. However, in another case the MAG determined that indictments should be served, pending a hearing, against Golani Brigade soldiers suspected of looting in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood, in eastern Gaza City. 
The MAG also said yesterday that no criminal wrongdoing was found in eight other cases investigated by a General Staff panel, headed by Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Eitan.

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Other cases in which it was decided not to launch investigations included an attack on the Abu Eita house at Tel a-Za’atar, in which five civilians were killed, and an attack by a fighter plane on Kafr al-Zuweida, in which five members of one family were killed. In the latter case, it emerged that a technical failure had caused one of the bombs dropped by the aircraft to go off course and hit the family house, instead of a warehouse for weapons about 100 meters away. One of the people killed in that attack was an Islamic Jihad operative.

The military prosecution also decided there was no suspicion of criminal wrongdoing in an IDF artillery strike on a school in Bureij and an UNRWA school in Nuseirat, where, according to the army, there were no Palestinian casualties. The army conceded, though, that an IDF shell hit the school wall during exchanges of fire with armed militants. . . .

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