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Probes: Israeli army acted professionally in Gaza

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli military operated according to international law and maintained a high level of professionalism and morals, its investigations found.

The findings of five probes conducted by the Israel Defense Forces were announced Wednesday by IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel. Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, the chief of staff, supervised the probes.

In "a very small number of incidents," intelligence or operational errors took place during the fighting, the investigations revealed.

"These unfortunate incidents were unavoidable and occur in all combat situations, in particular of the type which Hamas forced on the IDF, by choosing to fight from within the civilian population," according to the IDF spokesman.

The investigations looked into claims involving incidents in which United Nations and international facilities were fired upon; shooting at medical facilities and personnel; the harming of uninvolved civilians; the use of white phosphorous; and damage to infrastructure by ground forces.

Investigators operated independently and were provided with access to all relevant materials and the freedom to question personnel, according to the IDF spokesman.

A summary of each investigation will be presented to the military advocate general, who may decide independently whether additional checks must be performed or if another type of investigation should be opened. The conclusions of the investigations and the opinion of the military advocate will be presented for review to the attorney general.

A central IDF investigation of the entire three-week Gaza operation in late December and January is set to conclude by June. 

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