IDF Expedites Wide-Ranging Probe Of Operation Protective Edge

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

The IDF has launched an intensive review of the army’s conduct during Operation Protective Edge, running ahead of investigations into allegations of war crimes being organized by the U.N.

The military’s investigatory teams are examining 44 incidents that occurred in Gaza. Of those, two have led to criminal investigations, 12 are still being studied, seven have been closed, and three are pending, army sources told The Jerusalem Post.

The project is staffed by six teams of reserve officers who have undergone special legal training for the task. Not only thoroughness but speed is considered essential, in order to cope with multiple international probes that are expected to be biased against Israel.

Under the supervision of IDF Chief Military Prosecutor Maj.-Gen. Dani Efroni, the teams aim to complete checks into allegations within weeks rather than months, as in the past, and provide full explanations for their decisions.

“We’re better than we were during Operation Pillar of Defense [2012] and Operation Cast Lead [2009],” a senior officer said.

The first investigation will address circumstances surrounding the military strike on a Gaza beach on July 16 in which four Palestinian children were killed.

The second will look into an IDF strike on an UNRWA school in Gaza on July 24, in which 14 Palestinians were killed.

Meanwhile, the United Nations is preparing to investigate the targeting of its schools in Gaza during the recent operation in Gaza, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told an Arabic newspaper. Israel has said soldiers were responding to rocket fire emanating from next to or inside the schools’ yards.

The investigation is separate from a U.N. Human Rights Council panel investigating possible war crimes.