Justice and accountability Israeli-style: 45 days for killing a mother and daughter in Gaza

In July 2005, a soldier was punished by the Israel army for his actions in Gaza.

An Israeli soldier who refused to help demolish settler buildings in the Gaza Strip has been sentenced to jail. A military commander jailed Cpl Avi Bieber, 19, for 56 days in a case that is being seen as an indication of how the Israeli army will treat dissenters.

Yesterday, the the Israeli army saw fit to punish another soldier for something that happened in Gaza.

A former Israeli soldier is to serve 45 days in prison on charges in connection with the deaths of a Palestinian mother and daughter who were shot while waving white flags during the three-week war in Gaza in 2008-09.

It makes one wonder if the self-styled Most Moral Army In The World™ has a problem with impunity…

Reporters Without Borders has on many occasions asked the Israeli army to undertake independent and impartial investigations into such incidents in order to identify and punish those responsible. Even when the army does carry out an investigation, it seldom reaches any real conclusions.

…a complaint made to the military law enforcement bodies of offenses by soldier against Palestinians have a 96.5% chance of being dismissed without an indictment being filed against the suspected soldiers.

From September 2000 to April 2011…B’Tselem demanded a criminal investigation into 304 cases in which soldiers killed Palestinians. From the information available to B’Tselem, it appears that investigations were opened in only 73 of these cases. As far as B’Tselem knows, indictments were filed in nine of these cases, and 23 investigations were closed with no measures taken against soldiers…

And they wonder why stuff like this (and this, this & this) happens.


Ben White

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Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. His articles have been widely published in the likes of The Guardian‘s Comment is free, Al Jazeera, Electronic Intifada, New Statesman, and many others. He is the author of ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’ (2009, Pluto Press) and ‘Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination & Democracy’ (2012, Pluto Press). Ben is a researcher/writer for the Journal of Palestine Studies.