IDF opens 8 new criminal investigations into Gaza war incidents

The Israeli Defense Force announced that it has opened 8 new criminal investigations into incidents arising from the war against Hamas last summer.

Voice of America:

The internal inquiries could help Israel challenge the work of a U.N. Human Rights Council commission of inquiry into possible war crimes committed by its forces and Palestinian militants in the 50-day conflict in July and August. Israel has said it would not cooperate with the panel, accusing it of bias.

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in the fighting, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Sixty-seven Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel were killed.

The military said late on Saturday it would investigate a July 20 air strike on the Abu Jama family home in the town of Khan Younis in which 27 Palestinians were killed. Human rights groups said the dead were civilians.

The new probes will also examine the deaths of two Palestinian ambulance drivers on July 25 in Israeli strikes and a July 29 incident in which, according to a rights group, a Palestinian carrying a white flag was killed.

Four other inquiries will look into looting allegations.

In September, the military opened five criminal investigations into its Gaza war operations, including attacks that killed four Palestinian children on a beach and 17 people at a U.N. school. About 85 incidents are under various stages of legal review by the military.

Israel has said Hamas bears ultimate responsibility for civilian casualties because the group's fighters operated in crowded neighborhoods.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said the new Israeli investigations were aimed at circumventing the U.N. inquiry. He called for "independent probes to bring Israeli war criminals to justice".

Israel launched its Gaza offensive on July 8 with the declared aim of halting cross-border rocket salvoes by Hamas, an Islamist movement considered a terrorist organization by the West. The fighting was ended by an Egyptian-brokered truce.

No word about investigations by Hamas - or the international community for that matter - into the thousands of rockets that rained down on Israel and were deliberately aimed at civilians. In the topsy-turvey, upside down world of the "human rights" community, those non-war crimes committed by non-war criminals get a pass.

Any investigation by the IDF into incidents of civilian casualties will be suspect to most of the world, but that doesn't mean an alternative record shouldn't be made. Somewhere, sometime, the truth of what happened will become important and at that point, the IDF investigations will be given the weight they deserve.

Until then, the international community will be satisfied to brand Israel a "war criminal" and curry favor with the terrorists.


If you experience technical problems, please write to