Israel disciplines officers involved in the 2021 Gaza attack but refrains from filing criminal charges. Human rights groups express concerns over the lack of accountability.
In a recent announcement, the Israeli army revealed that it had taken disciplinary action against five officers involved in the deadly assault on the Gaza Strip in 2021.
However, the army said it would not pursue criminal charges against these officers.
The soldiers, reprimanded for their actions, were found to have deviated from standard procedures when carrying out strikes in Gaza.
Despite this, the army determined their actions did not meet the “criminal threshold.”
The army’s statement did not provide specific details about when these incidents took place, what exactly happened, or whether civilian casualties were involved.
It only mentioned that two officers had struck a target without proper authorization, one had received a warning for negligence in violating mandatory procedures, another was reprimanded for insufficient control over the unit carrying out the strike, and the final officer had made an error in the targeting procedure.
The assault conducted by Israel during the 11-day offensive in 2021 has faced allegations of war crimes.
According to the United Nations, the offensive resulted in the deaths of at least 261 people, including 67 children, and 2,200 individuals injured in Gaza.
Meanwhile, thirteen people lost their lives in Israel during the assault in May 2021.
Human Rights Watch (HRW), a prominent rights group, previously stated that the Israeli army committed war crimes during the offensive, as the attacks appeared to lack clear military targets and resulted in the deaths of many civilians.
HRW criticized the disciplinary actions taken against the Israeli officers, arguing that they were insufficient and did not provide genuine accountability for the destruction inflicted upon Gaza.
Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at HRW, emphasized the need for a more thorough investigation and tangible consequences for the perpetrators and those who authorized the attacks.
Shakir stressed that the scale of the destruction, including the loss of entire families and the reduction of residential and commercial buildings to rubble, demands a more significant response.
The recent announcement by the Israeli army comes at a time when its raid on the Jenin refugee camp has drawn condemnation for potential human rights violations.
The raid resulted in the deaths of 12 Palestinians and left over 100 others injured, with 30 of them in serious condition.
This attack is considered the largest Israeli assault in the occupied West Bank in over two decades.
While Israel has taken disciplinary action against the officers involved in the Gaza attack, the decision not to pursue criminal charges has raised concerns among human rights advocates.
There continues to be a call for a thorough investigation and accountability for the destruction caused during the offensive.