IDF launches criminal probes into Gaza operation incidents


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israel Defense Forces opened criminal investigations into eight deadly incidents that occurred during its 50-day Gaza operation.

The investigations, involving the deaths of 30 Gazan Palestinians, were announced Saturday night by the IDF’s Magistrate Advocate General service. Among the incidents is a July 20 airstrike on the home of the Abu Jama family in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, that left 27 dead. Most were believed to be civilians.

Some 13 cases are currently under investigation. About 85 incidents are under “various stages of review,” according to the IDF.

The IDF also announced Saturday that seven other cases were closed in which the investigation “did not find that the forces’ actions in these reported incidents appeared to substantiate reasonable grounds for suspicion of criminal behavior, and therefore there is no basis for an investigation.”

The Fact Finding Assessment Mechanism was established during the summer’s Gaza conflict to investigate individual incidents and decide if a criminal investigation is warranted. It also will “assist in preventing exceptional incidents in the future,” Maj. Gen. Danny Efroni, the army’s chief military advocate general, who appointed the fact-finding commission, said in a statement.

More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza operation, according to figures furnished by Gaza institutions that said most of the victims were civilians. Some 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel were killed.

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