Human shields

After the operation B'Tselem wrote to the MAG Corps demanding investigations of the Military Police Investigation Unit (MPIU) into 20 incidents that had taken place during the operation. In each of the incidents, B'Tselem's field research raised serious suspicions that military actions had harmed unarmed, uninvolved civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law. View list of cases and investigations status

Removal of the bodies at the end of Operation Cast Lead from the ruins of the house where soldiers had gathered the a-Samuni family. Photo: Muhammad Sabah, B'Tselem, 18 Jan. '09.
February 1

B'Tselem welcomes the appointment of the jurist Richard Goldstone to head the fact-finding mission, called for by the UN Human Rights Council, to investigate the recent fighting in Gaza. Particularly welcome is the delegation's mandate, which covers violations of international humanitarian law by both sides, in the Gaza Strip and in Israel.

April 6

The JAG ordered the investigation following reports, some by B'Tselem, and following the High Court's ruling prohibiting the use of human shields.

October 24

According to Majd Ghanem's testimony, the soldiers ordered him to search his neighbor's house, and later forced him to sit in the road next to their jeep. When Palestinians opened fire at the jeep, the soldiers refused to let him in or allow him to escape the crossfire.

June 5

During the army's operation in late February, soldiers ordered two children, a fifteen-year-old boy and a eleven-year-old girl, to walk in front of them as they searched houses in the old city of Nablus.

March 8

B'Tselem investigation indicates that Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians, including minors, as human shields during the military operation in Beit Hanun.

July 20

State Attorney's Office filed an application for a rehearing. Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz stated that he wanted to appear before the court and explain the importance of the procedure.

November 21

This morning, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that it is illegal to use Palestinian civilians in military operations. The decision was handed down in response to a petition filed in 2002 by a coalition of human rights organizations.

October 6