Israel charges army sniper over Gaza death

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Israel charges army sniper over Gaza death

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Israel has charged one of its army’s own snipers with manslaughter for allegedly shooting dead a Palestinian waving a white flag during the bombing of the Gaza Strip 18 months ago.

It is the most serious charge facing an Israeli soldier for acts carried out during the three-week offensive.

Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovitz, an Israeli military spokeswoman, said: “The decision was based on evidence that the soldier who is serving as a designated marksman deliberately targeted an individual walking with a group of people waving a white flag without being authorised or ordered to do so.”

Human rights organisations welcomed the news but called on the Israeli government to go further.

Btselem’s Jessic Montel said: “A year and a half later thes investigations are still continuing; it’s imperative that they be concluded as soon as possible. I would also add that I am a little uncomfortable that after this extensive death and destruction in Gaza that one isolated soldier would be the one to pay the price.”

The offensive on Gaza left 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

A UN report said Israeli troops commited war crimes during the operations.

Israel rejected the findings by South African judge Richard Goldstone, calling his report unbalanced