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From the field

B'Tselem: Investigate Galant's responsibility for grave violations of human rights in Operation Cast Lead

Galant commanded Operation Cast Lead as GOC Southern Command 

In response to the Israeli defense minister's decision to appoint Yoav Galant as IDF chief of staff, B'Tselem states that Galant's suitability for the position must be considered in light of his responsibility for suspected violations of human rights during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, which he commanded as GOC Southern Command.

The magnitude of harm caused to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip during the operation was unprecedented: 759 civilians who did not take part in the hostilities were killed, of them 318 minors. According to UN figures, Israel destroyed more than 3,500 residential dwellings and 20,000 people were left homeless.

Yet, to date, investigations into the army's conduct during the operation have focused on low-ranking soldiers, and no independent apparatus has been established in order to investigate the responsibility of political and military decision-makers. B'Tselem emphasizes that the conclusions of such an independent investigation may have direct implications for assessing Major General Galant's ability to lead the army while maintaining a proper moral code.