JERUSALEM, May 2 (UPI) -- The Israeli Army closed a probe into the deaths of 21 members of a Palestinian family in 2009 in Gaza, saying no legal action will be taken.
Maj. Dorit Tuval, deputy military advocate for operational matters, informed the human rights group B'Tselem of the decision on Tuesday, Haaretz and Ynetnews.com said. The Palestinian family members were killed during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli offensive waged in Gaza against the terror infrastructure in December 2008 to January 2009.
In a letter to the group Tuval wrote no legal action would be taken against those responsible for the incident. "The investigation completely disproved any claims about deliberate harm to civilians, as well as haste and recklessness about possible harm to civilians, or criminal negligence," Ynetnews.com quoted Tuval saying.
Tuval added the military offensive was "conducted mainly in highly populated urban areas, had direct implications on the manner in which operational decision were reached during the incident in question."
Yael Stein head of research at B'Tselem called the decision outrageous. "It is unacceptable that no one is found responsible for an action of the army that led to the killing of 21 uninvolved civilians, inside the building they were under soldiers' orders, even if not deliberately," Ynetnews.com quoted her as saying. Stein said she had expected the army to accept the severity of the event and at least clarify the circumstances in which the Palestinians were killed.
In the three-week offensive some 1,166 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.
Israeli army closes Gaza probe - UPI.com