IDF to probe 2 shootings along Gaza border

The IDF announced its investigation of two recent cases of lethal fire along the Gaza border that killed Palestinian teens during Hamas-led riots.

By: World Israel News and AP

Maj. Gen. Sharon Afek, the IDF military advocate-general, announced Tuesday that he instructed military police to probe the deadly shootings of Abd al-Nabi in March and Otman Hales in July during Hamas-led violent riots at the Israeli-Gaza border.

The investigation comes “following a suspicion that the shooting in these incidents was not in accordance with standard operating procedures,” he said.

Abd al-Nabi was killed by IDF gunfire near the security fence east of Jabalya, on March 30, 2018. Otman Hales was fatally shot near the security fence in the Karni crossing area on July 13, 2018.

The IDF recently announced that it found no criminal wrongdoing by Israeli forces in one of the bloodiest incidents of the 2014 Gaza war and that there were no grounds to prosecute any troops.

Regarding IDF actions on the Gaza border in May, Afek rejected calls for an international probe into alleged IDF misconduct, saying it would be an attempt to “undermine the IDF’s legitimate use of force.”

Speaking at the Israel Bar Association’s annual conference, Afek noted that the IDF constantly scrutinizes its own actions and that “even during the most complex and difficult battles, the IDF has always marched in line with the law – and will continue to do so.”

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‘Many states can only aspire to [IDF] standards’

He underscored that this was true even when the IDF was “fighting against adversaries devoid of morality and a commitment to that same law,” such as the Hamas terror organization in Gaza.

The IDF “does not need external encouragement or pressure in order to examine its conduct,” he added.

“The IDF and its legal system are not immune to criticism, and we do not seek such immunity. We act independently, transparently, and professionally. We are constantly under external legal oversight. Many states can only aspire to such standards,” the legal expert declared.

The IDF is conducting its own probe, and Afek said he will review the findings of the General Staff Fact-Finding Assessment Mechanism. “If there is a need for further investigation, I will not hesitate to order [one],” he stated.