March 11th, 2010
Military Prosecution Indicts Two IDF (Zahal) Staff Sergeants For Engaging in Unauthorized Conduct During Operation Cast Lead
Today, March 11th, 2010, the Military Prosecution, in accordance with military jurisdiction, indicted two IDF (Zahal) Staff Sergeants for engaging in unauthorized conduct. The indictment charges that during Operation Cast Lead, the two soldiers instructed a boy to open several bags suspected to be booby-trapped while searching a building in the Tel al –Hawa neighborhood in the Gaza Strip.
It should be noted that, in accordance with instructions from the Military Advocate General, the Military Police initiated an investigation in June 2009 as soon as the incident became known. Also, it must be emphasized that prior to and throughout Operation Cast Lead, IDF (Zahal) soldiers were strictly forbidden from making use of civilians for or during operational activity and specifically when it endangered the lives of the civilians.
The IDF (Zahal) is carrying out detailed investigations of various events from Operation Cast Lead and is doing so through operational investigations, professional investigations at the General Staff level, and through detailed complaints filed by civilians and organizations. The IDF (Zahal) is morally obligated to prevent harming uninvolved civilians and takes numerous measures in order to maintain the values of conduct in warfare and the law by taking legal action against those who breach these moral values.
As previously mentioned the Military Police investigation was opened in June 2009, completely unrelated to the Goldstone Report. The investigation was opened following the directive of the Military Advocate General after it was brought to his attention by the UN Secretary-General special representative’s report on matters involving children and armed conflict and following a complaint filed by the Israeli branch of Defense for Children International.