Israeli military officials disciplined for exceeding authority in Gaza offensive

Two high-ranking Israeli military officers have been disciplined for firing shells into a populated area of the Gaza Strip during last year’s Operation Cast Lead, it was revealed Feb. 1. The information was contained in a 46-page report presented to the UN on Jan. 29 describing Israel’s role in the January 2009 Gaza offensive. According to the report, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fired several artillery shells near populated areas in the Tel el-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City, destroying a UN compound and a Palestinian hospital. The UN maintains that the compound was hit with white phosphorus shells, while the report concludes that the “use of this weapon in the operation was consistent with Israel’s obligations under international law.” The two officers involved have since been disciplined for “exceeding their authority in a manner that jeopardized the lives of others,” but the Military Advocate General will not pursue a criminal investigation, and the officers will keep their rank and pay. (Jurist, Feb. 1)

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