Israeli Army Exonerates Itself from War Crimes in 2014 Gaza Offensive

Israel killed more than 2140 Palestinians in Operation Protective Edge. (Photo: Activestills.org, file)

The Israeli military has closed 13 criminal investigations into cases of Israeli soldiers committing violations against Palestinian civilians during the 2014 Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza Strip without imposing any punitive measures, a statement by the Israeli army revealed yesterday.

A further 80 incidents were closed without criminal investigations being opened.

The army received 500 complaints regarding 360 violations committed by its forces during ‘Operation Protective Edge’ of 2014, with the Israeli military opening an investigation into 24 cases and so far indicting three Israeli soldiers for crimes involving looting.

Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General, Saeb Erekat, slammed the Israeli army’s announcement saying, “We did not expect anything less than Israel’s justification of war crimes during its last major military attack on Gaza, by clearing itself of all wrongdoing in an investigation conducted by its own colonial regime.”

He added that Israel’s failure to address its war crimes makes it necessary for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to act against “the belligerent Israeli military occupation and put an end to Israel’s impunity for all the crimes committed against the land and people of Palestine.”

The 51-day Israeli offensive, termed “Operation Protective Edge” by Israeli authorities, resulted in the killings of 1,462 Palestinian civilians, a third of whom were children, according to the United Nations.

At least 142 families have lost three or more members in attacks on residential buildings during the Israeli assault, which caused the deaths of 742 civilians, the UN reported in a statement, adding that there were credible allegations that the incidents amounted to war crimes.

Residents have continued to experience trauma in their daily lives following the 2014 Israeli offensive, as reconstruction efforts have moved at a slow pace.

Some 75,000 Palestinians still remain displaced after losing their homes during Operation Protective edge.

(PC, MA’AN, MEMO)

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