maandag 30 maart 2009

IDF sluit onderzoek naar aantijgingen soldaten Gaza Oorlog

Het Israelische leger heeft de verschillende verhalen en bekentenissen van soldaten over het bewust doodschieten van Palestijnse burgers onderzocht, en komt tot de conclusie dat deze niet juist zijn, en overigens gebaseerd waren op geruchten en niet op eigen ervaringen van de betreffende soldaten, iets dat eerder al door diverse mensen werd opgemerkt. De grote onthullingen die dagenlang de voorpagina's van Haaretz en internationale media sierden, zijn wellicht geheel of gedeeltelijk verzonnen en aangedikt. Ondertussen beschuldigen 'historici' als Thomas von der Dunk Israel op grond hiervan van nazi misdaden.


Mar 30, 2009 16:01 | Updated Mar 30, 2009 18:46
IDF: Case closed on Gaza testimonies

Following claims made by graduates of the Rabin Pre-military Academy at a conference last month that IDF soldiers deliberately shot and killed Gaza civilians during Operation Cast Lead, the Military Police completed its official investigation into the accounts on Monday and concluded that they were categorically false and based on rumors.

On Wednesday, the Jerusalem Post, citing an IDF source, had reported that the allegations were proven to be untrue in official army investigations.
The probe also concluded that the stories of the soldiers who participated in the conference were purposely exaggerated and made extreme, in order to make a point to the participants at the conference.
The IDF Advocate-General Brig.-Gen. Avihai Mandelblit decided to close the case in the wake of the findings.

In particular, the results of the investigation referred to a testimony from a soldier named Aviv, who claimed to have been given orders to fire at an elderly Palestinian woman. According to the Military Police probe, the soldier witnessed no such thing, and was only repeating a rumor he had heard. In an unrelated investigation, it was found that in a similar incident, a woman suspected of being a suicide bomber approached some IDF troops, who opened fired at her after repeatedly trying to stop her from advancing.
This same soldier admitted that he had not witnessed additional incidents he had described during the conference.

A claim made by a different soldier, Ram, who had supposedly been ordered to open fire at a woman and two children, was also proved by the investigation to be an incident that he had not witnessed. After checking the claim, it was found that a force had opened fire in a different direction, toward two suspicious men who were unrelated to the civilians in question.
The army also stressed that the soldiers at the conference said they had based their claims relating to the use of phosphorous munitions on what they had heard in the media and not on their personal knowledge.
During the investigation, two additional claims arose regarding improper conduct, separate from the claims made at the Rabin Academy, and it was concluded that the incidents did not raise suspicions of unjustified shooting. The findings were based on a debriefing close to the time of one of the incidents and upon further investigation conducted by the Military Police.
Mendelblit said it was "unfortunate" that none of the speakers at the conference were careful to be accurate in their claims and that they chose to present various incidents of a severe nature, despite not personally witnessing and knowing much about them.
"It seems that it will be difficult to evaluate the damage done to the image and morals of the IDF and its soldiers who participated in Operation Cast Lead, in Israel and the world," he concluded.
Following the conclusion of the investigation, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement that he "stands behind the operational norms that guide the IDF in warfare."
"We have one army that is the most moral in the world, from the chief of General Staff until the last soldier, and I, as defense minister of the state of Israel, together with the Israeli public, stand behind the IDF, its values and norms," he stated.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report

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