US/World News

IDF opens criminal probes into troops’ conduct in Gaza

(JTA) – Israel’s army opened six criminal investigations into soldiers’ actions during its latest round of fighting in the Gaza Strip, including the bombing of a United Nations school. The probes, which may help Israel defend its officials against possible war crimes charges in the International Criminal Court, was announced March 19 by the chief military advocate general, Maj. Gen. Danny Efroni, in a statement to media about the Israel Defense Forces’ Fact-Finding Assessment on the events of the summer of 2014. “Dozens of additional incidents are still in various stages of examination by the Fact-Finding Assessment mechanism, and their findings will be provided by the Military Advocate General in due course,” read the statement, which came accompanied with a 21-page report about fact-finding actions taken on several allegations.

The announcement came amid reports that the Palestinian Authority is determined to ask the International Criminal Court in The Hague to launch an investigation into the conduct of Israeli officials. Among Israel’s arguments against the U.N. court’s involvement is the existence of Israel’s own judicial review; the international court must establish that a targeted individual would not be brought to justice in his home country.

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