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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Soldier indicted for killing 'Palestinian' in Operation Cast Lead

The IDF's Military Advocate General took a number of disciplinary actions against IDF soldiers on Tuesday for incidents that occurred during Operation Cast Lead. In one of them, an IDF soldier has been indicted for killing a 'Palestinian' woman.
The Military Advocate General has decided to indict a number of officers and soldiers for their conduct during the operation. In one case, an IDF officer at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel was summoned to a disciplinary hearing for having deviated from military directives pertaining to the prohibition on the use of civilians for operational activity. In a second case, the Military Advocate General indicted an IDF Staff Sergeant for manslaughter. In a third case, the Military Advocate General ordered a criminal investigation following his review of a field investigation in order to clarify the circumstances of a specific incident. In a fourth case, disciplinary action was taken against an IDF Captain for his failed professional judgment in authorizing an attack against a terror operative.


Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi ordered an examination of IDF conduct, and the ethical aspects thereof, in full confidence of the moral justness of the IDF, its officers and soldiers, as well as of the IDF’s ability to examine any incident, to draw the necessary conclusions, and to take legal action as necessary. More than 150 incidents have been examined and nearly 50 investigations have been launched by the Military Police Criminal Investigations Division since the operation’s conclusion.

Furthermore, the report of the United Nations fact finding mission on the Gaza conflict (i.e. the “Goldstone Report”) was published in September 2009, presenting 30 specific incidents related to the IDF, most of which were already familiar to the IDF and were in various stages of examination prior to the report’s publication.

Read the whole thing.

JPost adds:
IDF Military Advocate General Maj.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit decided Tuesday to charge a soldier with manslaughter for allegedly shooting and killing a Palestinian woman during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip last year.

The incident took place on January 4 in Juhar a-Dik, near Gaza City, when a group of about 30 Palestinian civilians, including women and children, approached an Israeli military position. The group, according to several eyewitness accounts, was waving white flags.

At a certain point, one of the IDF soldiers from the Givati Brigade opened fire at a woman who was marching together with the group. A mother and daughter – 35-year-old Majda Abu Hajiji and her 64-year-old mother Salama were killed in the incident, although it is not clear which of them died from the Givati soldier's fire. The incident was later thoroughly investigated by B’Tselem and mentioned in the Goldstone Report.

During a military probe shortly following the incident, one soldier was picked out as responsible for opening fire at the group of civilians.

The IDF said on Tuesday that dozens of Palestinians, soldiers and IDF officers were interrogated and that “gaps were discovered between the description provided by the Palestinians to the soldiers' testimonies.” According to Palestinian testimonies, tank fire killed the Hajiji women, while the IDF investigation showed no tank fire in the vicinity. However, the investigation did uncover a Givati soldier who admitted firing at a woman who he feared endangered his life. While the military police cannot identify the specific woman that the soldier allegedly shot and killed, the MAG decided nevertheless to press manslaughter charges against the soldier.

A senior IDF officer said Tuesday that the Israeli penal code allows for charging a suspect with manslaughter, without a specific body being accounted for.
And the fact that the IDF released this news two hours before Prime Minister Netanyahu's meeting with President Obama? I'm sure that was all a coincidence....


At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is how the government of Israel takes care of their soldiers.

Knit, Madam Defarge, knit.


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