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Israel investigating own forces for Gaza abuse

A Palestinian boy looks at Israeli soldiers as they patrol in the West Bank city of Hebron (Reuters / Ammar Awad)

A Palestinian boy looks at Israeli soldiers as they patrol in the West Bank city of Hebron (Reuters / Ammar Awad)

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The Israeli Defense Forces are launching criminal probes into five cases of alleged misconduct and breach of international law by their own soldiers in the summer operation in the Gaza Strip. This will be part of a series totaling 99 investigations.

The probes will include an investigation into the infamous bombing of a UN-run school, among other cases.

Forty-four of the investigations ordered by the country’s Chief Military Prosecutor, Major-General Dani Efroni, are already under way. Twelve of these have been completed, with results already at the military prosecutor’s office.

Some of the more prominent investigations are the IDF’s actions on Rafah in the aftermath of the kidnapping of their soldier Hadar Goldin. The other has to do with the killing of four small children on July 18 on a Gaza beach. The UN school air strike is another (the initial probe failed to take into account that the school yard wasn’t empty at the time of the attack.)

Some incidents involve unnecessary and uncalled-for brutality, such as when a woman stepped out of her house and was shot by the IDF in spite of the fact that they knew of and agreed to her exit. Another police case involved a Palestinian man, arrested in late July, then beaten and used as a human shield.

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