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The decision by the Judge Advocate General raises serious concerns, for several reasons:

The decision itself is unreasonable:

The facts of the case raise the serious suspicion that the soldiers in the tank, and those who gave them the order to open fire, failed to adhere to the duty to take all possible precautions to avoid the harming of civilians and civilian objectives.

Lack of accountability:

The decision continues the army's policy since the beginning of the second intifada, to not investigate cases in which Israeli security forces kill Palestinians not participating in the hostilities, other than in extreme cases. An investigation must be independent, effective, timely and open to review. The military debriefing does not adhere to these criteria.

General data on lack of investigations

From the beginning of the current intifada (29 September 2000) to the end of 2007, more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed who were not taking part in the hostilities at the time they were killed. However, a Military Police investigation was opened in only 270 cases of suspected illegal shooting by soldiers. This number includes investigations into cases in which civilians were wounded. Only 30 of these investigations resulted in the filing of indictments.

Complaints filed by B'Tselem

In 2007, Israeli security forces killed 127 Palestinians, 91 in the Gaza Strip, and 36 in the West Bank . B'Tselem wrote to ask for an investigation in 53 cases, in which 102 people were killed. B'Tselem was informed of the launching of 3 MP investigations, all in the West Bank

In the first half of 2008 (until the end of June), Israeli security forces killed 169 Palestinians, 159 in the Gaza Strip, and 10 in the West Bank . B'Tselem wrote to ask for an investigation in 46 cases, in which 87 people were killed. B'Tselem was informed of the launching of one military police investigation, into the death of a Palestinian from an unexploded shell in the Jordan Valley .

Flechette darts:

The attack that killed Shan'a, also killed five other Palestinians not participating in the hostilities. Three died on the spot, and two died later of their wounds. Circumstances in the Gaza Strip render the use of Flechette shells illegal. This is because to the wide area of dispersal of the darts shot out of the Shell makes its use in populated areas a type of indiscriminate firing which endangers innocent civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law.