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From the field

The Gaza Strip - 30 March ’09: Calls for independent investigation into military’s conduct during “Operation Cast Lead”

Israeli human rights organizations say, in response to the Israeli military's speedy closing of internal investigation files of war crimes in “Operation Cast Lead”:  The speedy closing of the investigation raises suspicions that sole purpose in opening it was to clear the military of any blame for illegal activity during the operation.

The internal investigation ignored a significant amount of material that was collected and that coincides with soldiers' testimonies recently publicized in Israeli media. In addition, the Military Advocate General disregarded allegations that several of the commands given during the military operations were illegal. It is clear that in this case, the Military Police Criminal Investigations Department (MPCID) has decided to focus on the individual soldier, a measure which is neither effective nor reliable.

"The closing of the military's own investigation only strengthens the need for the Attorney General to allow for an independent non-partisan investigative body to be established in order to look into all Israeli military activity during ‘Operation Cast Lead'," say the organizations.