I certainly agree with B’Tselem spokesperson Sarit Michaeli’s statement above: “… you see again and again that the authorities are simply not providing accountability and justice.”
The Israeli Military Advocate General (MAG) court seems especially prone to deceptively sidestepping pressing criminal charges when wartime allegations are brought before it. You can see an example of this at the MAG court’s website where summaries of cases are provided. Here’s a link for a particular time range that was during Operation Protective Edge: http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/IsraelGaza2014/Pages/Operation-Protective-Edge-Investigation-of-exceptional-incidents-Update-3.aspx Scroll down to Section 3 “Allegation Concerning the Deaths of 31 Individuals as a Result of Strikes on the House of the Al-Salak Family and Its Surroundings in Shuja’iyya (30 July 2014).” The concluding sentence is “…case to be closed, without opening a criminal investigation or ordering further action against those involved in the incident.” This conclusion was based on: “…the MAG found that the fire was carried out in a manner that accorded with Israeli domestic law and international law requirements.”
If you go to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) website covering the “Al-Salak Family allegations you will see a detailed rebutting of the MAG’s case. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/CoIGaza/A_HRC_CRP_4.docx
I have a particular interest in this case since I belong to a group here in North Carolina working to put together an incident report involving gross human rights violations occurring during Operation Protective Edge. We are requesting our congressman to submit this report to the US State Department for Leahy Law vetting.
We provide details of the incident and the UNHRC’s rebuttal of the MAG’s case at this link: http://www.aimeproject.org/ah/fact_finding_plus_schema.doc
We are looking to strengthen the case. If anyone reading this could suggest credible sources for additional information on the Al-Salak Family case, we would greatly appreciate it. A particular challenge we are facing is determining what IDF unit was involved in this incident and a determination as to whether the unit received US assistance. These are requirements for successful Leahy Law vetting.
To compound the difficulties of achieving “accountability and justice,” the Israeli government has denied UNHRC inspectors access to Gaza.
While justice may not be brought to those who killed 31 people during the Al-Salak family incident, by pursuing Leahy Law vetting, we can, if successful, remove some of the complicity of our government in those murders. Sad to say also, if we are successful, it will be the first time to our knowledge that the application of Leahy Law has resulted in the sanction of an Israeli security unit. A very sad commentary on our government, which furthermore is doing what it can to prevent Palestinians from bringing cases to the International Criminal Court.