IDF Wraps Up Gaza Op Investigations

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) wrapped up investigations alleging misconduct on the part of IDF troops during the three-week military operation in the Gaza Strip.

Brigadier General Avichair Mandelblit, IDF judge advocate-general, said investigations of soldiers' killing innocent civilians during Operation Cast Lead, which were leaked to the media by Danny Zamir, head of the Rabin Pre-Military Academy, proved fallacious.

Mandelblit said the soldiers' testimonies, which were no more than rumors, had been exaggerated to malign the IDF.

In one incident, a soldier named Aviv allegedly knew a soldier who had been ordered to fire at an elderly Palestinian woman. During questioning, Aviv admitted that his remarks were based on rumor and he had not witnessed that event or any of the others he described.

Another incident alleging that a soldier named Ram had been ordered to fire at a woman and two children also proved false.

Mandelblit said the soldiers' comments on the use of phosphorous munitions were based on media reports, not personal observation or knowledge.

The general admitted that it would be hard to overcome the false testimonies.

"It seems it will be difficult to evaluate the damage done to the image and morals of the IDF and its soldiers who participated in Operation Cast Lead," Mandelblit said.

But the IDF's investigations weren't enough for human rights groups, several of which plan to petition the attorney-general to open an investigation by an independent body to examine the IDF's behavior during the Gaza operation.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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