Yesterday, most Norwegian media chose a most peculiar angle when covering the IDF’s own conclusion of its internal investigation of the events that led to the very lamentable deaths of 4 Gazan youths who were killed in a lawful attack on a military target in Gaza during last years Defensive Shield Operation. Vårt Land, in good anti-Israel form, is fairly representative for how Israel’s compliance with international rules is regarded (disregarded?) by Norwegian opinion makers. Lifted from Vårt Land (google translate)
Israel: – The murder of four Gaza boys not punishable
The killing of four Palestinian boys in an Israeli air strike on a beach in Gaza City, can not be prosecuted, says the Israeli army.
by © NTB
A number of foreign journalists were witnesses to the attack on July 16 last year, and the pictures of the dead boys in the sand went around the world. The four Palestinians were aged nine to eleven years and belonged to the same extended family.
The Israeli army is now dropping the case after an internal investigation of the attack, which occurred during the 50-day war in Gaza where over 2,000 people were killed last year.
Eyewitnesses have told the boys played football and playing on the beach when they were hit by Israeli missiles. The Israeli Advocate General, however, has concluded that the attack was in line with both Israeli and international law, said army spokesman Peter Lerner, who reviews the boys’ death as tragic.
Lerner said the Israeli air forces fired at the four boys because they failed to see that they were children. The Israeli soldiers thought it was about gunmen who ran in an area “which is used exclusively by militants,” according to Lerner.
The children who were killed, were Ahed Atef Bakr (10), Zakaria Ahed Bakr (10), Mohamed Ramez Bakr (9) and Ismail Mohamed Bakr (11).
Two other cases in which Palestinians were killed in the attack on the Gaza Strip is dismissed. It revolves around two attacks against residential building in July, where a total of 22 Palestinians were killed. Army investigator still a cafe attack which cost nine lives, as well as accusations that Israeli soldiers abused a Palestinian prisoner and shot against a health clinic in Gaza.
The attacks occurred during the 50-day war last summer. Hamas shoots rockets at Israel, and Israel enforced a ground invasion and air attacks against Hamas in the densely populated Gaza Strip. Over 2,100 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians. On the Israeli side, 67 soldiers and six civilians killed.
The attack that killed the four Bakr-boys, among them Palestinian authorities are likely to try to bring to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The Israeli army provides for its part stated that they believe their own investigation is sufficient to prevent the ICC taking the case. © NTB
Surprisingly, none of the news papers have bothered to inform Norwegians that shock – oh – shock! – the High Level International Military Group have reached the same conclusion as the internal IDF investigation – however tragic the untimely deaths of the 4 youths, they are not a criminal incident and to top the IDF report: the IDF did not break any rules of war at all during Operation Defensive Shield.
lifted from jpost.com
Ex-generals, diplomats absolve Israel of Gaza war crimes
An ad hoc committee of Western former military chiefs and political officials said on Friday that Israel acted within the bounds of international law in prosecuting last summer’s war in Gaza.
The panel, which is known as “the High Level International Military Group,” issued preliminary findings over the weekend clearing the Israeli military of war crimes charges and accusations of deliberately targeting civilians during the 50-day Operation Protective Edge.
“We were well aware of the allegations made by some governments, the United Nations, human rights groups and the media, that Israel acted outside the laws of armed conflict in Gaza,” the group said in a statement which was published by UN Watch, a pro-Israel advocacy organization. “Some have suggested that the IDF lacked restraint or even deliberately targeted innocent civilians.”
After its fact-finding mission, which included high-level meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, and other members of the IDF high command, the organization found that it was Israel which was dragged into the conflict against its will.
“We examined the circumstances that led to the tragic conflict last summer and are in no doubt that this was not a war that Israel wanted,” the group said. “In reality Israel sought to avoid the conflict and exercised great restraint over a period of months before the war when its citizens were targeted by sporadic rocket attacks from Gaza.”
“Once the war had begun, Israel made repeated efforts to terminate the fighting,” the group said. “The war that Israel was eventually compelled to fight against Hamas and other Gaza extremists was a legitimate war, necessary to defend its citizens and its territory against sustained attack from beyond its borders.”
The organization said that Hamas was to blame for most of the civilian deaths in Gaza since it fired rockets from within densely populated areas. It went on to accuse human rights organizations like Amnesty International for exclusively using Hamas sources in concluding that Israel was to blame for most civilian casualties in Gaza.
“Our overall findings are that during Operation Protective Edge last summer, in the air, on the ground and at sea, Israel not only met a reasonable international standard of observance of the laws of armed conflict, but in many cases significantly exceeded that standard,” the group said. “We saw clear evidence of this from the upper to the lower levels of command. A measure of the seriousness with which Israel took its moral duties and its responsibilities under the laws of armed conflict is that in some cases Israel’s scrupulous adherence to the laws of war cost Israeli soldiers’ and civilians’ lives.”
The High Level International Military Group is comprised of 11 former chiefs of staff, high-ranking officers, and political leaders from the United States, Holland, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Australia, and Colombia. Its members include General Klaus Naumann, the former chief of staff of the Bundeswehr and chairman of the NATO Military Committee; Giulio Terzi, former foreign minister of Italy; Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper, formerly US State Department ambassador at large for war crimes issues; and Rafael Bardaji, former national security adviser to the government of Spain.
The findings are seen as a preemptive strike against the UN Human Rights Council, which is due to produce its own report on the 2014 war in the coming weeks.
I cannot remember to have seen any investigation into the deaths of a group of Afghan men who were so unfortunate as to stand 3.5 km away from a Norwegian Unit:
excerpt from vg.no (article from 16.10.2012)
Wenneberg tells how his strength spotted a group of armed rebels who stood on the edge of a village, obviously ready for battle. The Norwegian soldiers was 3.5 kilometers away. But two shots from the Norwegian CV90-vehicle “eliminated” quickly uprisings:
“The obvious dilemma for us was whether we should take them out immediately or wait until they had posted an ambush for us further ahead” says Rune Wenneberg the author.
“We chose therefore to take them out. We had obviously allowed it, and it was tactically wise. In many ways, this school example of how we want to fight, without danger to ourselves and so we utilize our strengths and a situation where the opposition’s capacity is irrelevant. “
According to the claims made against Israel, then surely this ugly incident also merits a proper investigation?