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7.8.2014

The Attorney General's response to Israeli human rights organizations: no indication that he intends to intiate an external investigation mechanism into the military offensive policy of Israel in the Gaza Strip

On July 21, 2014, following reports on disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian locations by the military during Operation Protective Edge, ten human rights organizations working in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including HaMoked, sent a joint letter to the Attorney General calling on him to instruct the government to avoid indiscriminate attacks that cause excessive harm to civilians in the Gaza Strip and to establish an effective and independent external investigation mechanism to examine the decisions and guidelines issued by the government and the military leadership relating to Israel's rules of engagement.

On August 5, 2014, the Attorney General responded, indicating that at least for the time being, there was no intention to examine the military's offensive policy during the operation in Gaza.

The Attorney General did not explain in his response how repeated attacks against civilian targets, such as homes, schools and markets, or attacks against vital civilian infrastructure such as electricity and water, were consistent with the basic duty to target only military objectives according to the principles of proportionality – as he noted himself in his letter.

As to the obligation of a democracy to examine suspicions over the legality of commands and instructions issued during fighting, the Attorney General recalled the Turkel Commission's conclusions regarding Israel's policy of investigating violations of the law of war: the Attorney General noted, without specifying, that only some of the recommendations had been implemented, but ignored the Commission's criticism of the military investigation mechanisms.
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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