US/World News

IDF orders investigation into response to Gaza protests

(JTA) – The IDF General Staff has ordered an investigation into the Israeli military’s response to the Gaza border protests. The Israel Defense Forces announced on Sunday that Brig. Gen. Moti Baruch has been appointed to lead the investigation. Baruch is a former division commander and current head of the army’s Training and Doctrine Division. The IDF conducted a similar investigation after the Gaza war in 2014. Only after the investigation is completed will a decision be made on whether to open a Military Police investigation, according to reports. Some 30 Palestinians have been killed since the protests began on March 30. The investigation likely will focus on several specific cases, such as the death of photojournalist Yasser Murtaja, who was operating a drone over the heads of Israeli troops and was wearing a vest emblazoned with the word “Press” on it. The protests are part of the planned six-week “March of Return” which will end in mid-May with the anniversary of Israel’s founding, which the Arab world calls the Nakba, or catastrophe. The Palestinians have said the protests are peaceful, but the IDF says that protesters have thrown rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops on the other side of the border fence and have attempted to damage and cross the border fence into Israel.

Meanwhile, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Sunday said that actions by both Israeli soldiers and Hamas may be considered war crimes.

CAP: Palestinian demonstrators shout during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border east of Gaza City, April 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem. 

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