Adalah demands investigation into Israeli war crimes in Gaza

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Thursday, September 18, 2014

An Israeli Arab rights group on Thursday called for an international investigation into Israeli war crimes during the latest Israeli assault on Gaza.

The army announced on September 10 it launched five criminal investigations into incidents involving its forces during the 50-day assault that killed more than 2,140 Palestinians, the vast majority being civilians, and 73 people on the Israeli side, mostly military.

But the Israeli military's legal branch had already dismissed seven cases, including two which Adalah, a legal watchdog focusing on Arab minority rights in Israel, had demanded be looked into.

These included the bombing of a home which killed eight members of the same family in southern Gaza, and the killing of media workers in an airstrike on Gaza City.

"The cases' dismissal shows that (Israel's Military Advocate General) does not view these events with the seriousness that they deserve," Adalah said in a statement.

It added that the Israeli army's decision so far to investigate only one of several bombings of UN schools "clearly demonstrate a conflict of interest."

"They are being carried out by an investigative body that is not independent (and) one that belongs to the military," Adalah quoted lawyer Sawsan Zaher as saying.

"As long as Israel does not conduct independent investigations that strongly demonstrate the violations of international humanitarian law, then the only way to investigate... is through an independent international investigation," the statement said.

The Israeli army is investigating, among several other cases, the shelling on July 24 of a UN school in the northern town of Beit Hanun that medics said killed at least 15 people, and the July 16 bombing of a Gaza City beach where four children died.

(AFP)

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