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Military Advocate General

  • Shooting and lying: A textbook example of IDF impunity

    Changing stories, contradictory testimonies and video evidence were not enough to convince Israel's military prosecutor that an IDF officer should be prosecuted for shooting and killing an unarmed Palestinian teen. By John Brown* and Noam Rotem In July 2015 an Israeli army officer, Col. Yisrael Shomer, shot dead Mohammad al-Kasbeh, a 17-year-old Palestinian, near Qalandiya crossing in the West Bank. Shomer lied repeatedly as he was investigated over the incident, but the chief military prosecutor nonetheless decided not to press charges, and closed the file. Shomer, who was a brigade commander at the time of the incident, shot Kasbeh after the…

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  • IDF soldiers who killed unarmed Palestinian set for community service

    Two IDF soldiers shot Samir Awad from behind eight times in January 2013, killing him. Nearly four years and a string of investigative failures later, it looks unlikely that either of the accused will go to jail. By John Brown* In January 2013, Israeli soldiers killed Palestinian teen Samir Awad in the West Bank village of Budrus, after shooting him eight times from behind. The shooters, A. and B. — a commander and a soldier — were indicted last January, three years after the killing, on charges of “recklessness and negligence." The names of the accused are barred from publication. [tmwinpost]…

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  • Two years after Gaza war, not a single war crime indictment

    The Israeli military's law enforcement system and its flawed investigative mechanisms appear primarily geared toward protecting the armed forces instead of civilians, thus allowing impunity to prevail. By Muna Haddad Two years after the Israeli military offensive on Gaza, dubbed "Operation Protective Edge," more than half of the civilian structures destroyed during the war have yet to be reconstructed, and Palestinian residents of the coastal strip are still finding bones amongst the ruins. And two years after that devastating offensive, Israeli authorities are again proving what previous experience with the Israeli system has long made clear: Israel is unwilling to conduct…

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  • License to Kill: Forgery, evidence tampering and two dead teens

    Usaid and Muhammed Qadus are shot to death in their own village by a major in the Israeli army who claims he only fired rubber bullets. But the bullets were real, and he admitted to lying and committing forgery to cover up his crime. Instead of being charged with a crime, he is promoted. By John Brown and Noam Rotem (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) In the "License to Kill" series thus far, we have surveyed eight Military Police investigation files regarding the killing of Palestinians by IDF fire. Despite the fact that none of those killed posed a danger…

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  • Leading Israeli rights group to stop cooperating with the IDF

    The Israeli military justice system acts only to 'cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators,' B'Tselem says, citing 25 years of experience working with the military. Palestinian rights expert welcomes the move. Israel’s best known human rights organization, B’Tselem, has lost all faith in the Israeli military justice system and will stop cooperating with it on behalf of Palestinian victims, the organization announced Wednesday. A quarter century of experience working with the army “has brought us to the realization that there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is…

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  • Permanent victims of war: Who remembers Gaza's children?

    The Israeli public’s indifference to the effects of war on Palestinian children does not result in passivity — it is an integral component of the violence Gaza’s population faces. Ali al-Awour (pictured above on the left) was a 10-year-old boy from Gaza who loved to play soccer. On June 11, 2014, Ali was riding on the back of his uncle’s motorcycle when an Israeli missile targeting his uncle, a suspected member of a militant group, struck the vehicle. He found himself on a hospital bed in intensive care for three days before dying of his wounds. Ali was the first…

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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. 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…

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  • The casualties of the next Gaza war

    The awful experience of the past few years suggests that in about two years time will be ripe for yet another war with predictable outcomes: thousands of dead, each and every one of them a person who meant the world to their families and loved ones. By Hagai El-Ad One month after the end of the war in Gaza – was it the second Gaza war? The third? – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood in front of the UN General Assembly and declared that, “no other country and no other army in history have gone to greater lengths to avoid casualties…

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  • Leading Israeli human rights group stops cooperating with IDF in Gaza probes

    In a move that could strengthen the case for international investigation of alleged Israeli war crimes, B'Tselem says it will no longer share its current Gaza case files with the country's Military Advocate General. Human rights watchdog declares that Israel is unable and unwilling to investigate alleged war crimes committed by its own soldiers. Citing "severe structural flaws" in the Israeli military's internal investigation mechanisms and a history of dismissing criminal allegations against military personnel, leading Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem announced on Sunday that it would not comply with a military request to share details of its independent investigations into alleged Israeli abuses…

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  • When 'security' means training in a Muslim cemetery

    It turns out that the IDF's legal division has no problem with soldiers holding training drills in a Palestinian graveyard. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Last Thursday, Yesh Din field investigators filmed our brave troops while they were training in a Muslim graveyard in Hebron. Here are the images (extended video at end of post): http://youtu.be/1p-2Nu2CpWM One is pressed to imagine greater callousness of heart: turning a graveyard, a place on which every society places many taboos and much sensitivity, into a place where soldiers practice. And it ought to be mentioned they are training mostly for operations…

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  • Resource: Over half of Palestinians killed in 'Pillar of Defense' were civilians

    Human rights organization B’Tselem published a report reviewing harm to civilians in Operation Pillar of Defense. The report provides statistics on the numbers of Palestinians and Israelis killed over the course of the operation, which lasted from November 14 to 21, 2012. The report challenges the common perception in the Israeli public and media that the operation was 'surgical' and caused practically no fatalities among uninvolved Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, the report finds that there was a significant difference between the first and the final days of the operation: of the uninvolved Palestinian fatalities, 80 percent were killed in the last…

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