Al-Mezan Center Appeals Against Decisions to Close Investigation into Israeli Crimes in Gaza

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights submitted, on the ninth of this month, an appeal before the Israeli government's legal advisor Avichai Mandelblit, regarding the closure of the investigation into (5) cases in which the occupation forces killed 29 Palestinians, during the summer 2014 aggression on Gaza Gaza.

The Center said in a press statement today, that these crimes resulted in the killing of 10 children and two women, and the destruction of 4 residential homes in the Strip.

The Center stated that it had received response notes by the military prosecutor in the occupation state, stating that it was decided not to open an investigation or take other measures to prosecute those responsible for the military attack under investigation. He also claimed that some of the attacks in which the occupation forces targeted military activists, while others targeted places to lead military operations.

The military prosecutor’s response comes five years after the Al-Mezan Center submitted requests for an investigation into the crimes committed.

It is noteworthy that Al-Mizan Center had submitted requests to open an investigation of (125) requests, which varied between requests to open an investigation into crimes of murder, destruction of housing, public facilities, torture and thefts.

The Center also submitted (19) an appeal to the Israeli government legal advisor, regarding the decisions to close the Israeli military prosecutor, these files, and Al-Mezan Center's lawyers continue to follow these requests.

The appeal requests submitted by PCHR’s lawyers stated that the occupation forces committed serious violations of international humanitarian law amounting to war crimes, and that “the decision to attack civilians and homes is a grave violation of the principle of distinction and the rules that derive from it, especially the prohibition against targeting civilians and civilian objects.”

As for the military prosecutor’s decision to close the investigation, the appeals stated that “even aside from entering into a debate about the allegations made by the Israeli army, it was worth not to allow these attacks. The military attorney general’s position that the IDF’s practices are not sufficient to raise suspicions It is reasonable to believe that criminal behavior is a misinterpretation of the rules of international humanitarian law, and an abuse of its provisions. Indeed, it is clear that there is no real intention to open an investigation and prosecute the perpetrators of killings against civilians.

Regarding the military prosecutor's handling of cases, Al-Mezan Center's lawyers stressed that they are not compatible with the requirements of international law and international standards for the independence of the judiciary, in particular the standards of independence, impartiality, effectiveness, speed and transparency.

Lawyers added, "The fact that the military agencies involved in the hostilities are the same that guarantees the review of events and decisions regarding whether or not to open an investigation can be ignored, as the military prosecutor plays a dual role, on the one hand, he provides legal advice to the Israeli army before and during military operations, On the other hand, it is his responsibility to decide to open investigations with regard to Israeli military operations. This duplication is a flagrant violation of the standards of independence and impartiality. "

Al-Mizan Center called on the judicial counselor of the government of the occupying state to cancel the military prosecutor’s decision to close the investigation of the issues subject to appeal, and called for the opening of a serious investigation and holding those who prove his involvement in murders and destroying private property, contrary to the provisions of international humanitarian law and the provisions of international criminal law.

The Center affirmed that the continuing dual duplication represented by the military prosecutor precludes the ability of Palestinians to access justice, implement the principle of accountability and the principle of accountability for perpetrators of Israeli violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, and provide redress and reparation for Palestinian victims.

 

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