Quantcast
Connect with us

Israeli soldiers walk free in Gaza human shield case

Published

on

JERUSALEM — Two Israeli soldiers received suspended sentences and demotions on Sunday for using a Palestinian child as a human shield during the 2008-2009 Gaza war, an army spokeswoman said.

The soldiers were convicted on October 3 for forcing a nine-year-old boy to search bags believed to be booby-trapped during Israel’s 22-day war on Gaza which erupted in December 2008.

ADVERTISEMENT

The two, who were not identified, were each given suspended terms of three months imprisonment and were demoted from the rank of staff sergeant to sergeant.

“The two Givati soldiers will be on probation for two years and any violation will result in three months in prison. Their rank will be dropped from staff sergeant to sergeant,” she said.

Gerard Horton, a spokesman in the West Bank for Geneva-based rights group Defence for Children International (DCI), described the sentence as “unbelievable.”

“Do the Israeli authorities think that a three-month suspended sentence is an appropriate punishment for two heavily-armed soldiers treating a nine-year-old boy as a human shield?”

ADVERTISEMENT

He told AFP that the trial appeared designed to deflect attention from accusations in the Goldstone report, a UN-mandated study by South African judge Richard Goldstone which accused both Israel and the Palestinians of war crimes during the three-week war.

“It’s purely for international consumption,” Horton told AFP.

“It’s to look like you’re doing something busy after the Goldstone report, in order to get the UN off your back. It’s not a genuine attempt to enforce the law or to send a message that this is not appropriate conduct for the army to engage in.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Goldstone recommended that the report’s findings be transferred to the International Criminal Court if Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement fail to conduct “credible” investigations into the war.

Israel rejected the report as “biased.”

Israel’s Supreme Court banned the army from using human shields in October 2005.

ADVERTISEMENT

Since then, DCI had documented 15 breaches of that ban in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Horton said.

“This is the only case out of those 15 where anyone has been prosecuted — and they get a three-month suspended sentence,” he added.

During the trial, the boy, identified as Majd R, said he feared for his life as one of the soldiers ordered him at gunpoint to open a suspect bag.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I thought they would kill me. I became very scared and wet my pants,” he said in an affidavit given to DCI.

The military court recognized that when the incident occurred in January 2009, the troops had been under “difficult and dangerous combat conditions” and had gone several nights without sleep.

Israel launched its 22-day offensive against the Gaza Strip in December 2008 in a bid to halt Palestinian rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled territory. The fighting killed some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Commentary

The ‘divine right’ presidency: Trump has identified the USA with himself and claimed unprecedented powers to do whatever he wants

Published

on

Trump’s latest use of our government to cover up his mistakes, this time about weather forecasting, is revealing about the nature of his Presidency.

No government weather maps showed Hurricane Dorian threatening Alabama. On Thursday, August 29, Trump was briefed in the Oval Office on the Hurricane by the head of FEMA, which released a photo of him looking at a map of where Dorian had been and where it was headed. A white curved line showed the areas that Dorian might possibly hit. Not Alabama.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Meghan McCain gets fact-checked on new Kavanaugh accuser — and asks if Clarence Thomas got impeached

Published

on

"The View" host Whoopi Goldberg had to fact-check Meghan McCain's description of a New York Times correction in a bombshell new report about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The newspaper reported that the FBI failed to interview former Yale classmates about sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh during the confirmation process last fall, and the authors of a new book found a new accuser.

McCain pointed to an editor's note appended to the story that she believes casts doubt on the new reporting, but Goldberg asked her to clean up some of the claims she made.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Bernie Sanders just lost an important progressive endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Published

on

The Working Families Party, a progressive political party that endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for president in 2016, has now endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for president.

The New York Times reports that the labor-aligned organization's members overwhelmingly backed Warren's candidacy.

A spokesperson for the party tells the Times that "tens of thousands" of party members backed Warren's candidacy and that she received 60 percent of votes on the first ballot.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image