Charges ruled out over Gaza killing of 10 members of family

Israeli military finds no basis for criminal inquiry

A Palestinian boy burns an Israeli flag  in Gaza City yesterday. Reuters/Suhaib Salem

A Palestinian boy burns an Israeli flag in Gaza City yesterday. Reuters/Suhaib Salem

Mon, Apr 15, 2013, 06:00

Israeli military authorities have closed their investigation into the killing of 10 members of one family in an air strike during November’s eight-day war in Gaza, saying no criminal offence was suspected.

The Dalou family’s home was destroyed, resulting in the biggest single incident of civilian deaths. Among 12 victims were four siblings aged one to seven, and five women, including one aged 80; two of the dead were neighbours. Images of the children’s corpses were shown around the world.

The decision by Israel’s Military Advocate General (MAG) to take no further action follows a special commission that examined about 80 incidents during the conflict which involved the deaths of “uninvolved civilians” or led to claims of alleged misconduct. In 65 of them, the MAG “did not find a basis for opening a criminal investigation”. It ordered a further inquiry in the remaining cases.

According to a military report, the MAG found in a number of cases “there is indeed basis for the claim that as a result of IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] attacks, uninvolved civilians were killed or injured”.

This was attributed to “unintended damage” or “operational errors”.

The report said: “This result, while regrettable, does not indicate a violation of the laws of armed conflict, and stems directly from actions of Palestinian terrorist organisations, which have chosen to conduct their unlawful activities from within the civilian population.” – ( Guardian service)