Israeli army closes 13 investigations of alleged misconduct during 2014 Gaza war

(JTA) – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has closed 13 criminal investigations of alleged misconduct during Israel’s 2014 war in Gaza “without undertaking any criminal or disciplinary proceedings.”

Among the cases closed by the IDF’s Military Advocate General (MAG) noted in an update released Wednesday was an investigation of a widely condemned strike near a Rafah school, which the MAG determined had been carried out in compliance with proper procedures. Others included allegations of looting and of soldiers firing at civilian buildings and cars, intentionally damaging property or harming civilians in violation of IDF’s operational instructions.

The update said the Military Advocate General has opened 24 criminal investigations since 2014 stemming from Operation Protective Edge, leading to indictments against three soldiers accused of looting and of aiding and abetting looting – no judgment has been rendered in the cases. The remaining investigations, it said, are “still ongoing” or are awaiting review.

Ongoing investigations include an incident in which a civilian allegedly was abused and robbed by Israeli soldiers.

The update said the MAG has received complaints and reports concerning 220 alleged incidents, of which 80 were closed after preliminary examination because “the actions of the IDF forces involved did not give rise to reasonable grounds for suspicion of criminal behaviour.”

“However, in relation to some of these incidents, the MAG recommended reviewing operational methods in order to assess whether any changes should be made. In certain cases that were closed, the MAG found that no involvement of IDF forces could be identified in regard to the incident.”

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