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Israel censures army officers over Gaza shelling


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Israel censures army officers over Gaza shelling

Two senior Israeli army officers have been reprimanded for shelling a heavily populated area in Gaza, it has emerged.

A UN compound hit in last year’s attack was set ablaze by white phosphorus shells.

Israel boycotted the UN investigation led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone. In response, the UN threatened to launch war crimes proceedings.

But on Friday, Israel issued its “Gaza Operation Investigations: An Update” document.

Defending its role, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon said: “Israel does not need any admonition from the international community. We keep our high standards on morality, and the fact that we took disciplinary action against very high and senior officers is just the proof,”

“The Commander of the Southern Command disciplined a brigadier-general and a colonel for
exceeding their authority in a manner that jeopardised the lives of others,” according to the Israeli document.

But critics say there has been a cover-up.

“This case shows the white-wash of the report that Israel submitted. The report itself does not specify the circumstances in which those officers acted,” said Yael Stein of Israeli human rights group B’tselem.

Israel has paid the United Nations around eight million euros for damage to its property during the three week offensive during which more than 1,400 Palestinians died, including civilians and Hamas fighters.

Ten Israeli soldiers and three civilians were killed.

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