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No indictment in killing of four Palestinian kids on Gaza beach

Israeli army prosecutor decides not to open a criminal probe into a widely reported-on air strike against four children playing on a Gaza City beach during last year’s war. The MAG says it will, however, investigate the shelling of a medical clinic ‘in honor’ a fallen soldier.

A Palestinian child, killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza beach, is carried away by paramedics, Gaza City, July 16, 2014. Four children were killed during the attack. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian child, killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza beach, is carried away by paramedics, Gaza City, July 16, 2014. Four children were killed during the attack. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

The Israeli military will not seek any indictments over the killing of four Palestinian children on the beach in Gaza last summer, the Military Advocate General announced on Thursday. The four children were killed in a July 16 airstrike that targeted them while they played on a Gaza beach adjacent to where a sizable foreign press contingent was staying.

In its announcement, the MAG claimed that the children had run into — and subsequently out of — what it described as a Hamas naval compound, “closed off by a fence and clearly separated from the beach serving the civilian population.” At least two foreign journalists who were in Gaza at the time disputed that claim on Friday, asserting that the site was easily accessible to the public and only meters from a stretch of sand popular with swimmers and sunbathers.

Paramedics, journalists and bystanders run toward the the scene where four Palestinian children were killed by Israeli military shelling at a Gaza City beach, July 16, 2014. (photo: Activestills)

Paramedics, journalists and bystanders run toward the the scene where four Palestinian children were killed by Israeli military shelling at a Gaza City beach, July 16, 2014. The Israeli military prosecutor described the site as a ‘Hamas naval compound.’ (photo: Activestills)

One of those journalists, Peter Beaumont of The Guardian, told +972 on Friday that he later mentioned to MAG officials that he had witnessed the event and told them he would be willing to provide a statement — but that nobody ever contacted him to follow up. Other veteran journalists published first-person accounts of the incident at the time.

The MAG stated that its preliminary investigation was “thorough and extensive,” but it appears to have interviewed only people within the military in its probe. The MAG report notes that three Palestinian witnesses declined to meet with IDF officials, instead providing them with affidavits. It makes no mention of attempts to interview other witnesses, including any of the journalists who witnessed the air strike and reported on it at the time.

Explaining why it is not pursuing a criminal investigation, the MAG asserts that the failure to identify the children as, well, unarmed children, before firing missiles at them did not violate Israeli or international law. The MAG essentially chalked off the killing as a “tragic incident” to be used as a learning moment.

Israel hopes that by investigating its own conduct during Operation Protective Edge it will trigger a concept called complementarity with regards to the International Criminal Court. According to the Rome Statute, which governs the court, the ICC prosecutor may only bring war crimes charges if state parties are incapable or unwilling to conduct an investigation themselves.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has already opened a preliminary examination of the war last summer, a step before a formal investigation. As part of that examination period, she told Haaretz last month, her office will “determine whether national investigations and prosecutions are genuine.”

IDF will investigate shelling of clinic

In the same document, the Israeli army announced that it is opening a criminal investigation into another high profile case in the Gaza war, one reported on by +972 earlier this month.

On July 23 of last year, in the early days of the ground invasion, a tank formation allegedly fired shells at a medical clinic in honor of a fallen comrade. We know this because a recording of an army officer ordering his tank gunners to do so was published by the Israeli media a day later.

Medics take cover from shooting in the Shujaiyeh area during a short humanitarian ceasefire, Gaza City, July 23, 2014. The medics and journalists came under fire and were forced to withdraw from the area after a short time. Shujaiyeh was been heavily bombed by Israel in heavy fighting and shelling that left roughly 100 Palestinians dead. Thirteen Israeli soldiers were killed in the fighting. (Ann Paq/Activestills.org)

Medics take cover from shooting in the Shujaiyeh area during a short humanitarian ceasefire, Gaza City, July 23, 2014. (Ann Paq/Activestills.org)

While the fallen soldier was being buried at a military cemetery in Jerusalem, his comrades decided to honor him in Gaza.

“Here, in the middle of Shujaiyeh, in Gaza, I want us to join all of those people who are accompanying Dima on his final journey,” Lt.-Col. Neriya Yeshurun appears to tell his soldiers in the recording. “We will fire a barrage in his honor, for this officer, toward the clinic from which the scoundrels fired on his tank and took his life.”

There was no reported military threat emanating from the medical clinic at the time.

While the recording of Yeshurun was published in the middle of the war last summer, it received scant attention. It was thrust back into the Israeli news cycle earlier this month after Electronic Intifada dug up and published the story.

The Military Advocate General wrote of its decision regarding that incident:

In the wake of media reports, wherein it was alleged that IDF forces had intentionally fired tank shells at a medical clinic from which there had emanated fire resulting in the death of an IDF officer on the day prior, the MAG ordered the opening of a criminal investigation into the incident.

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    1. Pedro X

      The children were playing in or next to Hamas’ naval compound and got mistaken for Hamas men. There was an ongoing war with Hamas’ naval division carrying out attacks against Israeli and Israel shelling Hamas targets from the sea and the air. Wars play out in real time and mistakes are made even though the right procedures are followed.

      It staggers belief that anyone would be so stupid to let their children play on a beach during a war which saw active shelling by Israeli ships and air planes against targets in Gaza including the Hamas Naval compound where the children were playing.

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        It beggars belief that people like you cannot imagine how impossible it must be to keep the boys inside in the midsummer heat, without power or access to supplies without knowing if, or when, the chaos wrecking their world will end. They’d been confined for over a week when they left without permission to play on the beach. No evidence has been offered so far and none has been found by journalists who witnessed the attack either, to show that a Hamas compound was near there. The children had approached the shack targeted to recover their football.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ginger Eis

          1. “It beggars belief that people like you cannot imagine how impossible it must be to keep the boys inside in the midsummer heat, without power or access to supplies without knowing if, or when, the chaos wrecking their world will end”.

          That’s a load of conjecture there, Sh. You agree with me, don’t you, Sh, that you have no evidence to support any of that conjecture, yes? Good.

          2.“They’ d been confined for over a week when they left without permission to play on the beach.”

          That’s another load of conjecture, Sh. You make eyewitness statements of matters you did not witness yourself.

          3. “No evidence has been offered so far and none has been found by journalists who witnessed the attack either, to show that a Hamas compound was near there. The children had approached the shack targeted to recover their football”.

          So, what kind of evidence are you looking for, Sh? Do you actually mean that you want to see photos taken by the journalists of the shack with the inscription “Hamas Naval Unit”? We both do agree, don’t we, Sh, that such demand is kind of funny, no? As you well know, all and I mean ALL, of Hamas’ facilities are NOT marked – for obvious reasons. Beyond that, Hamas men don civilian clothing to blend in with the civilian population during ongoing war – again, for obvious reasons. The area that was hit had been known to the Israeli Intelligence as a base for Hamas naval forces, who used the area exclusively. The boys, entering the compound at a running pace, were mistaken as Hamas’s naval forces and an aerial attack was ordered. It later emerged that instead of killing Hamas terrorists, we in fact killed four innocent boys. It was a tragic and painful accident the IDF heavily regrets!

          4. Unlike David Tragerman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnwWAVoc2qA, whose death has never been investigated by anyone; unlike 4yrs old Daniel whose story has never been publicized on +972mag and whose death has never been condemned by the ilk of yourself, +972mag and its columnists, a single Arab public figure, a single Arab publication, a single Arab NGO or any of the resident, hateful +972mag-talkbackers who rant ad nauseam against Israel; unlike little Daniel who no one will ever be brought to justice for his death, the IDF has thoroughly investigated the unfortunate deaths of the Palestinian boys that were evidently mistaken for Hamas terrorists and killed! I have no doubt in my mind that Hamas sent those boys to where they were killed with two main goals: (a) test IDF’s response/preparedness and (b) use the deaths of the boys (if they get killed) as a massive weapon in the propaganda war against Israel. Reading your posts, it seems Hamas hugely succeed in every respect. Exactly what you are doing in your post is the result Hamas desired with the deaths of the boy, don’t you see, Sh?

          Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            GE: “You agree with me, don’t you, Sh, that you have no evidence to support any of that conjecture, yes?”

            Err, no, because everything he mentions comes from an eyewitness report published in The Guardian not a day after the attack, and repeated again not a day after this IDF fairy-tale was published.

            Here, in fact:
            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/11/israel-clears-military-gaza-beach-children

            You will agree with me, won’t you Ginger, that “eye-witness evidence” is supporting evidence for that claim, yes?

            Peter Beaumont is the reporters name. Perhaps you want to contact him and tell him that what he saw with his own eyes is not at all what he saw with his own eyes.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            The specific aspects of Sh’s post I referred to as conjecture are not supported by your link. Again, before you go off on a rant and trying to mimic me (which is yet another example of how much I have influenced you in many aspects), read first and make sure you know exactly what you are responding to and why.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “The area that was hit had been known to the Israeli Intelligence as a base for Hamas naval forces, who used the area exclusively. The boys, entering the compound at a running pace, were mistaken as Hamas’s naval forces and an aerial attack was ordered. It later emerged that instead of killing Hamas terrorists, we in fact killed four innocent boys. It was a tragic and painful accident the IDF heavily regrets!”

            That’s a load of conjecture there, Eis. You agree with me, don’t you, Eis, that, with the sole exception of the phrase “we in fact killed four innocent boys,” you have no evidence to support any of that conjecture, yes? Good. (Hey just to remind you, I’m still waiting on your reply regarding the difference between “pending” and “never heard” over on the article about asylum seekers (the site with Ellen’s formidably authentic statements on the matter.) You agree with me, don’t you, Eis, that no reply is a capitulation, yes? Good.)

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Ooh ooh, Brian alias “Ben” alias “MuslimJew” alias etc. has seen Ginger and has started once again to hyperventilate, hallucinate and act freaky. No job yet, Brian? Lol. You should also consider saying stuff like “hee hee”, “Oy veh”, etc. as you did before to sound more like Ginger, Brian. Sheesh, how did Ginger manage to have such a hold on you guys? Anyways, keep whacking it. Just don’t pull it too hard, else you hurt yourself, moron. Oh dear….

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Oy vavoy! BigCat have you donated this month to +972? I have. The easiest way is to sign up for automatic monthly donations but you can make a one time donation too. You really should think about supporting this forum that gives you a precious opportunity to be an uncensored liar and idiot. Where else can you get so much for so little? Have a nice day, mio gattino disonesto. Smoochie smoochie, little Meravita.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Brian alias “Ben” alias “MuslimJew” alias “David T.” alias “Dekkers” alias etc.

            Here is your record on this site when you posted as Brian:

            “Brian
            Wednesday
            October 29, 2014

            Again, Jewishness as a kind of mafia, ruled by a code of omertà!

            Reply to Comment
            Frank
            Wednesday
            October 29, 2014

            NOT Jewishness!!! Some Israelis, just like some Italians.

            Reply to Comment
            Brian
            Wednesday
            October 29, 2014

            Unfortunately it’s not just some individuals. It’s a whole entrenched racist system, a system of Jewish superiority and Arab inferiority. On many overlapping levels. With a code of silence enveloping it. Why do you think a certain organization calls itself “Breaking The Silence”?

            Reply to Comment
            Samba
            Friday
            October 31, 2014

            Jewish …Maffia ??jajaja more Christans _Maffia. you are stupide to insinate religion.

            http://972mag.com/photographed-punching-an-arab-woman-sue-the-photographer/98152/

            Now Brian, I know that you like to hallucinate and invoke Ginger in everything, but Ginger (who called you “a pig” and told you that she won’t respond to the incendiary comments you bombarded her with in the past many of which had sexual content) was not even posting when you made this comment to us, you psychotic anti-Semite!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            That was s good point Brian made! Omertà! It’s spot on. Oh and you brazenly lie (we’ve lost count it’s so many many times) when you say “bombarded her with in the past many of which had sexual content).” Brian made one little old in context comment back in the day–when your alter ego was in her over the top shrieking, pouncing, harridan and martinet phase (don’t deny it–everyone saw it)–about Eis waxing erotic over Naftali Bennet. Big whoopie doo. We’re scandalized. What a bunch of crap. Eis is the one who bombarded people. Outrageously. Eis was the provocateur and you know it. And you are the one who constantly bombards me with deranged filth. This was all mind you in reference to Mr. Shrapnel in the Ass himself who was bragging about killing Arabs and shrieking from the Knesset podium. Lest we forget. Go tell it to the Marines kid.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Brian alias “Ben” alias “MuslimJew” alias “David T.” alias “Dekkers” alias etc., everyone can read your comments which I posted. They are self-explanatory. But instead of addressing you anti-Semitism, you are doubling down on it and hallucinating about Ginger. Every sentence you write, every breath you take, your very strong words are all about Ginger – even though she NEVER responds to YOU! Your posts show a combination of admiration for- and rage towards her at the same time. On the one hand you admire Ginger, but on the other hand you are enraged that she won’t respond to any of your posts and that sends you going berserk and bonkers, hysterically rambling mumbo jumbo – all of them about Ginger. This minute you sound reasonable toward her, but the next minute you unleash your emotional tantrum and rage against her. Wow, Brian, you need professional help. What an obsession!

            Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          Israel claims that the target was a known Naval position.

          Sh: “No evidence has been offered so far and none has been found by journalists who witnessed the attack either, to show that a Hamas compound was near there.”

          Al-Monitor reported the following on July 17, 2015:

          “Eyewitness Mohammed Bakr, 17, told Al-Monitor, “First, they bombed the marine police site close to where the children were playing. When they started running, a second bomb was fired, killing four of them and injuring a fifth.”

          This was reported by a Palestinian journalist, Asmaa al-Ghoul, who knows the area and is pro-Palestinain of course. The witness, another Gazan, knew that the the marine station was hit. He puts the boys playing near it and they get hit after the hit on the naval station.

          So if Gazans knew there was a Hamas Marine station on the beach, why did the Guardian and others not mention this in their reports. Could it be their anti-Israel animus?

          So this tells me that Israel targeted a military site. Figures were seen running away from the compound after it was hit and were fired upon. Israel had every reason to believe that those running away from the naval station were Hamas fighters. Unfortunately, the children were playing on the beach in the middle of an intense war and killed after going into the naval compound space, apparently to retrieve their ball.

          Readers should remember that a war was ongoing. Hamas naval teams landed in Israel and had to be hunted down and killed. On the day before the incident Israel agreed to a cease fire proposed by Egypt and the PA. Israel stopped firing until 3 pm that day, but Hamas refused the ceasefire and fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli population centers that and the next day. Just on July 16, 2015 Hamas fired 148 rockets towards civilian targets in Israel. Israel responded with intensive strikes from the air and the sea on military targets.

          With war raging around Gaza a number of children went to play on a beach next to a known Naval station. Maybe the children were restless and hot and did not know better. However, the parents lived near the sea and ought to have known better than to permit their children to play next to a known Hamas Marine center. Hamas should have not have placed its military in close proximity to civilian infrastructure.

          Tragedies like this are a part of war. Hamas initiated a war knowing what the costs would be. They did so to prop up their flagging popularity. It worked but Gazans had to pay the price of their government’s aggression against Israel.

          Reply to Comment
      • Eric

        I wonder what your comment would have been if some Jewish children we’re hit playing on the Beach…..

        Reply to Comment
        • sh

          Exactly the same.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Eric, your comment is devoid of context and I am very unsure what exactly Sh is exclaiming “exactly the same” to.

            Regardless,

            Apparently, while Israeli children were either hunkering down in bomb-shelters and the basement of their homes or few seconds away from bomb-shelters as seen e.g. here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsKXZ7nIUA8, Palestinian children were playing soccer on the beach during the course of an aerial assault on Gaza? While Israeli fathers don’t let their kids out of their sights and use their own bodies to cover their kids to protect their fragile bodies from being torn apart by shrapnels from Palestinian rockets and missiles, Palestinian parents let their kids go play football on a beach during the course of a ferocious aerial assault on Gaza? Gee! There is something eerily wrong, criminal and scary with that picture! Until you folks start calling Palestinians out for their own misdeeds, this kind of stuff will continue to repeat itself. If you cared about the Palestinians as you profess, start telling them the truth – unless of course your goal is to always find fault with Israel while hiding behind the Palestinians.

            Reply to Comment
          • Taz

            The kids were told not to go out by their mother and sneaked out.

            What are you going to do now, blame the kids? Of course Israel would manage to get people to dismiss cold blooded murder of children.

            Reply to Comment
        • been there

          No surprise here..Israelis can and do murder (Palestinians that is,) with impunity

          Reply to Comment
      • Yeah, Right

        PX: “The children were playing in or next to Hamas’ naval compound and got mistaken for Hamas men.”

        Remind me again how children get to “play in” a military compound during a time of armed conflict? Or how the IDF could have possibly have misidentified children as soldiers?

        Clearly that hut and that shed were easily (childishly easy, in fact) accessible from that beach, which rather precludes it being “closed off by a fence and clearly separated from the beach serving the civilian population”.

        Note also that the reporters all state that children had been playing soccer meters from that “military compound”, which means that the IDF must have already noted that there were children playing mere metres from that site.

        That the IDF then “failed” to recognize them as kids when the IDF had already noted the presence of kids in the area simply beggars all belief.

        The failure to contact any of the reporters who witnessed this event speaks volumes: it tells us that the IDF understood perfectly well that those reporters would refute the two pillars of this “report” i.e. that the breakwater could possibly be mistaken for a “Hamas military compound”, and that anyone could possibly misidentify those kids.

        Best not to ask in the first place…..

        Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          Al-monitor.com on July 17, 2014 substantiated that there was a marine base on the beach which was first hit.

          Eyewitness Mohammed Bakr, 17, told Al-Monitor, “First, they bombed the marine police site close to where the children were playing. When they started running, a second bomb was fired, killing four of them and injuring a fifth.”

          The reporter was also a Gazan, Asmaa al-Ghoul, who knew that there was a Hamas Naval base there. It was a legitimate military target and it was hit. After it was hit figures were seen running away from it. Israel thought these were Hamas men running away from a military target.

          What Beaumont and others of the international press reported about no naval base were simply ignorant about something which Gazans and the Israeli military were aware.

          It is interesting that a commission of generals and military persons just released a report which stated that Israel’s performance in the Gaza war was in accordance with internatinal law and the laws of war. In fact they said that Israel exceeded it obligations.

          See:

          http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-did-not-commit-war-crimes-in-gaza-says-multi-national-military-group/

          Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            PX: “What Beaumont and others of the international press reported about no naval base were simply ignorant about something which Gazans and the Israeli military were aware.”

            Dude, Beaumont got to stick his nose inside the hut and the container that the IDF claimed to be “a naval base”.

            Got that? He actually was able to look inside both, and he said that the hut contained fishing equipment and the container contained tools i.e. it was a tool shed.

            Nothing more.
            No less.

            *sheesh* Get this through your thick, overly-indoctrinated skull: BEAUMONT. ACTUALLY. GOT. TO. LOOK. INSIDE. BOTH.

            Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            Of course the container/shed was located on the marine base, and was not the entire marine base. Gazans knew this, as Asmaa al-ghoul, Gazan Palestinian journalist reported. The Jerusalem Post in its online June 11, 2015 edition posted that the IDF had affidavits from Gazans stating that they knew the place of the Israeli attack was an Hamas naval base:

            “Affidavits from Gazans were the source for the idea that Gazans knew it was also a military location, said the IDF.”

            So everyone but foreign journalists knew that this was a Hamas Naval base on which the container shed was located.

            Israel knew this was a Hamas naval base and had bombed the base several times including the day before. The Jerusalem Post indicates that the IDF had information that this particular base was to be used in an attack against Israelis that particular day:

            “On July 16, army intelligence reported that Hamas naval commandos were entering the area to prepare an attack on the IDF.”

            The IDF thought it saw Hamas commandos running into the container/shed and destroyed the container shed and then saw other persons running away from it concluding they were also Hamas. Again the Jerusalem Post:

            “Israeli aircraft identified several unidentified persons running into an installation on the beach near where the IDF had attacked the day before.

            At no point was the IDF able to identify that the persons were children, said the report.

            Commanders gave an approval to attack based on the assumption that there were no civilians in the area and that the persons were all Hamas naval commandos.

            An IDF aircraft launched a missile that struck the installation, which the IDF presumes killed the persons it had identified as Hamas naval commandos.

            After the air strike, additional persons started running to exit the area and an IDF aircraft fired a second missile at them, which struck them after they had exited the installation.”

            The belief that those running away form the container was mistaken. It is entirely understandable how such mistakes are made in real time. In war friendly fire deaths happen all the time when one’s own or allied troops are mistaken for the enemy due to troops being unexpectedly in a place where other troops believe the enemy is. A recent case took place where Kurdish soldiers accidentally killed a Canadian soldier believing he must be the enemy. The Kurds were not expecting a visit from an elite Canadian unit. The Kurds had been in battle for days with ISIS fighters. When the Canadian Unit approached the Kurdish fighters saw ISIS fighters. Such decisions are made in real time and people when reviewing them ask how could you mistake this person’s unit for armed ISIS fighters.

            We see this play out in hunting accidents when Dad shoots his son or the son shoots his Dad. When interviewed the shooter will invariably say I mistook him for a bear or a moose. The investigator will ask do you know what your son looks and what a bear or moose looks like? The answer will be yes, but the shooter still saw a moose or bear in his mind before he pulled the trigger. The answer to this phenomena is that the brain will often see what the person is looking for in a given situation. Hunters are supposed to wear bright orange vests so accidents like this do not happen. The mind knows that there are no bright orange bears or moose.

            In the case of the four children, the IDF had been fighting Hamas throughout Gaza targeting Hamas positions including this marine naval compound which it had struck several times including the day before. It had intelligence that Hamas Commandos were gathering there for an attack. Israel attacked what it thought were commandos on a Hamas Naval base. There was no intention to attack civilians. the children had gone into a military area which was an active war zone and were killed when mistaken for Hamas fighters in a situation where it was a logical assumption that they Hamas fighters.

            Gazans should never have allowed their or their neighbor’s children play on the beach in an area in which an active war was taking place.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            PX: “Of course the container/shed was located on the marine base, and was not the entire marine base.”

            Not. The. Entire. Marine. Base.

            Dude, we are talking about a breakwater.

            Dude, you can actually SEE it in the photo that accompanies this article.

            Dude, LOOK at the photo. It’s the second photo in this article.

            The hut and the container is the complete sum total of everything that is on that breakwater, and that breakwater is what the IDF is claiming to be a “Hamas Naval Base”.

            There isn’t anything else.

            You can SEE that there isn’t anything else, because once someone steps off that breakwater they are stepping onto a beach.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            PX: “It is interesting that a commission of generals and military persons just released a report which”…. I suspect very much that Pedro has never actually read, regardless of how many times he points us to it.

            Dude, the report outs itself as an IDF infomercial, right in the section where the authors admit that they are shilling for the IDF high command.

            Right here: “We were granted a level of access to the Israeli government and Defence Force that has not been afforded to any other group, from the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Minister of Defence, Moshe Ya’alon, right down to the field commanders responsible for fighting the battle on the ground.”

            Note that contact ended at the level of “the field commanders” (meaning that all contact was confined to the very people in danger of being prosecuted for war crimes).

            So all those Generals and Majors went on an all-expenses-paid junket to Israel, and that report is the result of them sitting around and nodding sagely while various Israeli Grandees gave PowerPoint presentations entitled “Why We Aren’t War Criminals”.

            That report could have been written much more concisely, and much more accurately.

            Something like this, I’d suggest: Dear Diary, we all sat around eating lobster and canapés and drinking toasts to the IDF while Boogie told us funny stories, it was The Best Day Ever!

            Honestly, Pedro, read the report. It is an exercise in stenography:
            “We were briefed on”…
            “We were briefed on”…
            “We were briefed on”…
            “We were briefed in detail on”…
            …”the IDF informed us that”…
            “We were extensively briefed by”…

            Everything those “fact-finders” claim that they know was dictated to them by the IDF high command, and there is no evidence anywhere in the report that any one of those dudes made the slightest effort to confirm that what “they were briefed on” actually corresponded to what had actually happened during that conflict.

            Apparently they didn’t feel the need to independently verify anything that they were being told by the IDF high command.

            No doubt the ride from their 5-star hotel to the VIP briefing room in IDF HQ was far, far too comfortable for them to even think about going anywhere else…

            Reply to Comment
    2. Bruce Gould

      Military Court Watch:

      http://www.militarycourtwatch.org/page.php?id=40jhuQlvcNa560139AYb9c0e6NO0

      Today, MCW lodged a submission with the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment annexing over 300 pages of evidence relating to the treatment of children held in Israeli military detention. The evidence includes the cases of 200 minors detained by the Israeli military in the West Bank between January 2013 and May 2015.
      Following a review of the evidence the submission confirms an earlier finding by UNICEF that “the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.” This finding is based on recent evidence that shows that intimidation, threats, verbal abuse, physical violence and the denial of basic legal rights are still commonplace within the system. The submission also confirms a recent finding by UNICEF that “reports of alleged ill-treatment of children during arrest, transfer, interrogation and detention have not significantly decreased in 2013 and 2014”.

      Reply to Comment
      • BigCat

        My good friend, Bruce, you always like to feed on- and spread shit around. Would you pls. post a link containing your “300 pages of evidence relating to the treatment of children held in Israeli military detention” so that we can see what the “evidence” is and what the “evidence” proves! The hysterical rants about “the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized” is not evidence. Please start making arguments with evidence and quit this rather very gratuitous campaign of smear and demonization of Israel. We know that you are not allowed into Israel and understand your anger. But that should not be a reason to engage in smear and demonization. What you say to that, my good friend, Bruce?

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Breaking the Silence Testimony – ‘Provocation and reaction’
        [2014] – “‘Provocation and reaction’ is the act of entering a village, making a lot of noise, waiting for the stones to be thrown at you and then you arrest them.

        That’s powerful stuff, Bruce. In response to Edo Konrad’s article today someone demanded the “whole video” and “the context” since “for those of you that don’t know, most of the edited videos don’t show the yelling and screaming and enticements to get a solider or policeman to finally react.” Breaking the Silence reports however the greater context, like a camera lens zooming out to a wider perspective which changes the whole picture as to what is going on: who is entering the village in the first place and who is provoking whom, and on purpose.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Yeah, Right

      972mag: “According to the Rome Statute, which governs the court, the ICC prosecutor may only bring war crimes charges if state parties are incapable or unwilling to conduct an investigation themselves.”

      No, that’s not what the Rome Statute says.

      “(b) The case has been investigated by a State which has jurisdiction over it and the State has decided not to prosecute the person concerned, unless the decision resulted from the unwillingness or inability of the State genuinely to prosecute;”

      The missing word in 972mag’s paraphrasing is the word “genuinely”.

      If the chief prosecutor is convinced that the reason for these IDF investigations is because Israel wants to “trigger a concept called complementarity” then that isn’t a “genuine” IDF investigation.

      That amounts to nothing more than a cynical attempt to make the case inadmissible before the ICC, and therefore that is not a “genuine” attempt to prosecute anyone for those war crimes.

      In which situation Article 17(1)(b) is not applicable.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Yeah, Right

      Further to this idea of “triggering a concept called complementarity” I think you will find that 972mag is demonstrably incorrect, and you need only go back and look at the ICC’s reaction to the Gaza Flotilla raid to see why.

      The IDF killed 9 civilians in that raid, and then investigated itself and said: Nup. All good, no problem, just an unfortunate outcome, but we’ve looked into it and it was in no way a war crime. Case Closed. Move along everyone, nothing to see here.

      According to 972mag’s “concept of complementarity” that should have been the end of it, since the very existence of that IDF investigation made that action inadmissible before the ICC.

      Except…. the ICC did not agree. The ICC Chief Prosecutor accepted that this raid likely resulted in war crimes (huh? How can she say that? Didn’t the IDF “investigate” and find nothing?), though nevertheless the “small number of victims” didn’t warrant an investigation by the court.

      Note that: the court DIDN’T reject the case because of “complementarity” (which is Article 17(1)(b)) but because of “lack of gravity” (which occurs later, in Article 17(1)(d)).

      Reply to Comment
      • BigCat

        Oh boy! Here is this donkey-head called “yeahright” once again confused, putting the cart before the horse and ranting about what he clearly does not understand. The ICC considered in the flotilla case that some of the crimes alleged fall under the Rome Statute, but declined prosecution because the gravity threshold was not met and because of that did not even get to consider the complementarity requirement, moron.

        Reply to Comment
        • Yeah, Right

          BigCat: “but declined prosecution because the gravity threshold was not met and because of that did not even get to consider the complementarity requirement, moron.”

          I think we can safely add that ICC report to the list of documents that BigCat insists that he knows all about but has not actually bothered to read.

          Dude, the IDF investigation said that no war crime was committed i.e. that everything the IDF did during that raid was consistent with international law.

          Under 972Mag’s concept of “complementarity” then questions regarding the “gravity” of the war crime can not even enter into the Chief Prosecutor’s equation, precisely because “a state with jurisdiction” has already investigated and concluded that No War Crime Actually Took Place.

          Yet there is that report, and in it the Chief Prosecutor explicitly said that there is prime facie evidence indicating that a war crime was committed by the IDF.

          Again, I need to stress that point: under 972Mag’s interpretation of “complementarity” the Chief Prosecutor is not allowed to write that a war crime was very likely committed, precisely because the IDF pre-empted her by investigating and concluding that no war crime took place.

          It’s only BECAUSE the Chief Prosecutor came to her contrarian point of view that the issue THEN had to revolve around the question of the “gravity” of that war crime.

          This all flies wayyyyyyy over your head, doesn’t it?

          Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            BigCat: “Here is the link.”

            I’ve already read it, dude. It says exactly what I said it says.

            It says that the Chief Prosecutor does not believe the IDF’s claim that the raid was fully compliant with international humanitarian law.

            And I’ll repeat this again, because this never gets old: according to *the* *interpretation* *of* *the* *author* *of* *this* *article* then the “concept called complementarity” does not allow the ICC Chief Prosecutor to hold to that view.

            But – again, once more – what the ICC Chief Prosecutor said is that it is the lack of “gravity” that matters, not the prior conclusions of that IDF investigation.

            BigCat: “Don’t let it confuse you more than you already are.”

            There is no confusion regarding what it said: it says exactly what I have already explained that it said.

            BigCat: “pp. 54, 59.”

            They say that the ICC believes that a war crime was, indeed, committed, but the lack of “gravity” means that it is not worth the ICC investigating further.

            Which is exactly what I said in my first post.

            Honestly, BigCat, do you even *know* what it is that you are arguing?

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Here is what the link says:

            THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
            The Office Of The Prosecutor: Situation on Registered Vessels of Comoros, Greece and Cambodia Article 53(1) Report, pp. 54, 59.

            1). „133. As set out in article 17(1) of the Statute, admissibility requires an assessment of complementarity (subparagraphs (a)-(c)) and gravity (subparagraph (d)). Pursuant to its prosecutorial strategy, the Office assesses complementarity and gravity in relation to the most serious crimes alleged and as a rule, to those who appear to bear the greatest responsibility for those crimes within the context of potential cases that are likely to arise from an investigation of the situation.
            2). 134. Although any crime falling within the jurisdiction of the Court is serious, 233 article 17(1)(d) requires the Court to assess as an admissibility threshold whether a case is of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the Court. In this respect, PTC I has stated that “the fact that a case addresses one of the most serious crimes for the international community as a whole is not sufficient for it to be admissible before the Court”.234 At the preliminary examination stage, gravity is examined against the backdrop of the likely set of potential cases that would arise from investigating the situation.(…)
            3). 148. Accordingly, based on the foregoing considerations, the Office has determined that the potential cases that would likely arise from an investigation of the situation concerning the flotilla incident would not meet the required gravity threshold, pursuant to article 17(1)(d) of the Statute. In light of the conclusion reached on gravity, it is unnecessary to reach a conclusion on complementarity”

            Got that,!

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            “yeahright” claims:

            “According to 972mag’s “concept of complementarity” that should have been the end of it, since the very existence of that IDF investigation made that action inadmissible before the ICC. Except…. the ICC did not agree. The ICC Chief Prosecutor accepted that this raid likely resulted in war crimes (huh? How can she say that? Didn’t the IDF “investigate” and find nothing?), though nevertheless the “small number of victims” didn’t warrant an investigation by the court”.

            You are wrong!

            The OTP had to run three tests

            a). does the alleged crime constitute a crime in the sense of the Statute? If yes, then
            b). does the alleged crime have sufficient gravity? If yes, then
            c). are the requirements of complementarity met? If no, then
            d). ICC investigation and eventually prosecution.

            In the Flotilla incident, the OTP said (a) that the ALLEGED crime does not have sufficient gravity in the negative and because of that (b) that “it is not necessary to reach a conclusion on Complementarity, i.e. whether or not Israel has investigated it and decided not to prosecute (Article 17(1)(b) Rome Statute).

            Gravity comes before Complementarity. If the former is negative, you don’t even get to the later! Got that, donkey-brain?!

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            *sigh*

            I’m dealing with an idiot.

            Read what I said: the Chief Prosecutor didn’t **just** refer to these as “allegations” of war crimes. She said – repeatedly – that the raid was very likely a war crime i.e. there was a prime facie case that a war crime was committed.

            Read what I said: according to **972Mag** and its interpretation then those repeated statements by the Chief Prosecutor are utterly incompatible with their “concept called complementarity”, which would force the Chief Prosecutor not to have a contrary opinion once the IDF had “investigated” and found that No War Crime Was Committed.

            I do not dispute that the Chief Prosecutors report did not make any finding either way on complementarity (I wouldn’t want to fight that battle either, not over something that is considered to lack gravity), but that’s not what I was arguing.

            I’m arguing that her constant reference to the likelihood that a war crime WAS committed is utterly inconsistent with the IDF investigation’s claim that no war crime took place, and under *this* *article’s* *interpretation* of complementarity the Chief Prosecutor would be stepping way outside of her authority by making such remarks.

            Get it now?

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            1). You are equally wrong when you claim: “I’m arguing that her constant reference to the likelihood that a war crime WAS committed is utterly inconsistent with the IDF investigation’s claim that no war crime took place”. The ICC made no such determination.

            2). You were also wrong when you claimed: “I do not dispute that the Chief Prosecutors report did not make any finding either way on complementarity (I wouldn’t want to fight that battle either, not over something that is considered to lack gravity), but that’s not what I was arguing”.

            You are lying. The entirety of your first post was that the investigation done by Israel was disregarded by the ICC. That was wrong and foolish.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Wes Buckman

      Palestinian terrorists put military facilities in civilian ares to cause such events. They are the murderers, not the Israelis.
      On the other hand, the “attack” could simply be another example of paliwood propaganda.

      Reply to Comment
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