JERUSALEM, The Israeli military have cleared Israeli soldiers in four cases of allegedly killing Palestinian civilians in the 2014 Gaza war.
Prosecutors on Wednesday closed the probe into at least four of about 500 incidents involving the war, which included an attack that killed several children at a UN school. The war, called Operation Protective Edge in Israel, resulted in the death of more than 2,000 Palestinians and 73 Israelis.
War crimes allegations are currently being investigated by the UN Human Rights Council, the International Criminal Court and the Israel Defense Forces. The IDF has reviewed about 360 incidents that have led to 31 full criminal investigations, 13 cases have been closed and three case have produced only minor criminal violations, like looting.
The Military Advocate General Corps, the legal arm of the IDF, chose to not file charges over an airstrike in July 20, 2014 that killed seven members of a family, and second strike the following day that killed 12 members of a family, including six children.
Prosecutors also wouldn’t charge forces with the Aug. 2014 strike of a UN-run school that killed eight children.
The IDF defended the July 20 attack, saying the house was a known Hamas site with three Hamas agents inside and though civilians were killed, the elimination of the three agents outweighed the collateral damage.
The July 21 attack was disregarded by the IDF after being unable to find any record of strikes by Israeli forces carried out there on that day. The military concluded the family was likely killed by a failed Hamas rocket launch instead.
The charge of the attack on the school was dropped after it was found IDF forces did not know students were present at the time of the attack and only noticed the children after the missile had been launched.
Lastly, the IDF blamed the death of 15 civilians during an August 1 attack on bad intelligence that suggested only Hamas agents were present.
By Shawn Price