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Friday, September 23, 2016

Two Years after Gaza War, Not a Single War Crime Indictment

Two Years after Gaza War, Not a Single War Crime Indictment

by Muna Haddad
Two years after the Israeli military offensive on Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” more than half of the civilian structures destroyed during the war have yet to be reconstructed, and Palestinian residents of the coastal strip are still finding bones amongst the ruins. And two years after that devastating offensive, Israeli authorities are again proving what previous experience with the Israeli system has long made clear: Israel is unwilling to conduct genuine, independent investigations into suspected war crimes, and does not hold those responsible to account, as required by international law.
At total of 2,251 Palestinians were killed during the 2014 war, most of them civilians, including 299 women and 551 children. More than 18,000 civilian structures were destroyed, including hospitals and essential infrastructure. Despite this unprecedented destruction and human suffering, Israel has failed to file even a single indictment against any military figure for killing or wounding civilians or for destruction of civilian structures.
As was the case in the wake of previous Israeli attacks on Gaza, such as “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008-2009, low-level soldiers were disciplined for looting. The Military Advocate General (MAG) investigated and filed indictments against two soldiers for looting, and against one additional soldier for acting as an accomplice in the looting of a Palestinian home in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza. This is the same neighborhood in which an Israeli assault between the 19th and 20th of July 2014 killed 55 civilians, including 19 children and 14 women.

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