Military Police investigations regarding Operation Cast Lead, August 2010

Published: 
1 Jan 2014

On 19 July 2010, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs published an update on the investigations Israel is carrying out following Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. According to the update, a total of 47 Military Police investigations have been opened, 11 of them since the beginning of 2010.  This update, like information published by the IDF Spokesperson and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from time to time on the issue, does not mention which incidents are being handled in the 47 investigations, nor in which incidents has an investigation not been opened. Also, no precise information is provided on the number of investigations that have been completed or how many are still under way.

Based on information gathered by human rights organizations that the Military Police relied on for assistance in the investigation, B'Tselem composed a partial list of 20 cases in which a Military Police investigation has been opened.

Investigations of complaints submitted by B'Tselem:

  1. The killing of ‘Atta ‘Azzam, 46, and his two sons, Muhammad, 13, and Hassan, 2, by a Flechette shell fired into the yard of their house in the Mughraqa area, on 6 January 2009.
  2. The killing of Ria Abu Hajaj, 64, and her daughter Majda Abu Hajaj, 37, by fire from a tank while they held white flags, in Juhar a-Dik, on 4 January 2009 (HRW also submitted a complaint relating to this incident).
  3. The killing of eight members of the Abu Halima family, one of them Shahd, 2, in Beit Lahiya, by a phosphorous bomb, and firing at family members as they sought to flee the area, on 4 January 2009 (PCHR also submitted a complaint relating to this incident).
  4. The killing of six members of the ‘Abd a-Dayem family and the wounding of ten others by a Flechette shell fired at a mourning tent in Beit Hanun, on 5 January 2009.
  5. The killing of Rawhiya a-Najar, 48, by a soldier's gunfire while she was waving a white flag, and the wounding of the ambulance driver who had come to evacuate her, in Khan Yunis, on 13 January 2009.
  6. The use of Sami Muhammad and Ra'd Abu Seif, from the ‘Abd Rabo neighborhood in the Jabalya refugee camp, as human shields, on 5 January 2009.
  7. The killing of Mustafa Barakeh and Rasmi Abu Jarir while they were riding in a passenger car in Deir el-Balah, on 15 January 2009.
  8. The killing of four, and wounding of nine, members of the Haji and ‘Arafat families in a-Zeitun neighborhood, on 5 January 2009 (PCHR also submitted a complaint relating to this incident).
  9. The killing of 21 members of the Samuni family in a house in which the army gathered them in a-Zeitun neighborhood, on 5 January 2009 (PCHR also submitted a complaint relating to this incident).
  10. The killing of a father and his son and the wounding of five members of the ‘Atiya a-Samuni family in a-Zeitun neighborhood, on 5 January 2009 (PCHR also submitted a complaint relating to this incident).
  11. MPIU investigation of the killing of Jihad Ahmad, 17, and Rida ‘Ali, 42, at the Netzarim intersection on 4 January 2009, while they were travelling in a taxi with other persons. In this case, B'Tselem did not file a complaint, and the investigation was apparently opened following publication of an item on the incident on B'Tselem's website.

Investigations of suspicions in complaints by Human Rights Watch:
Three cases involving the suspected shooting of persons waving white flags:

  1. The killing of Ibtisam al-Qnu', 40, in the al-‘Atatrah neighborhood of Beit Lahiya, on 4 January 2009.
  2. The killing of Nada al-Mardi, 5, in the al-‘Atatrah neighborhood of Beit Lahiya, on 5 January 2009.
  3. The killing of Ibrahim Mu'in Juha, 14, the in a-Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza City, on 5 January 2009.

Investigations of suspicions in complaints by Adalah in cooperation with al-Mezan and al-Haq:

  1. The suspected killing of the sisters Su'ad and Amal ‘Abd Rabo, 7 and 2 respectively, the wounding of their sister and grandmother, and the destruction of the family's home, in the Izbet ‘Abd Rabo neighborhood of the Jablaya refugee camp, while they were holding white flags. Also, the killing of Adham Khamis Nasir, 37, as he tried to aid in evacuating Su'ad ‘Abed Rabo - it is unclear whether the latter incident is also being investigated (HRW also submitted a complaint about this incident).
  2. The use of the child ‘Alaa al-‘Attar and others from his family as human shields in the al-‘Atatrah neighborhood of Beit Lahiya.
  3. The use of Majdi ‘Abd Rabo as a human shield in the Izbet ‘Abd Rabo neighborhood of Jabalya.
  4. The use of ‘Abbas Halawah as a human shield in southwest Jabalya.
  5. The use of Raji Mesbah ‘Abed Rabo as a human shield in the Izbet ‘Abd Rabo neighborhood in Jabalya.
  6. The use of ‘Abd al-Karim Mustafa Saleh and his son Amin as human shields in the Izbet ‘Abd Rabo neighborhood in Jabalya.