IDF Chief Judge: Hundreds of Inquiries, Groundless

, | updated: 21:58

“In all the fatality cases we have investigated, there has never been a single incident of deliberate shooting,” the IDF’s Judge Advocate General, Menahem Finkelstein, told the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee’s yesterday.

190 cases were opened in 2003 alone in order to investigate instances in which Arab civilians were killed during IDF counter-terror operations. Forty trials took place with all defendants sentenced to prison terms of up to 10 months, but the charge that the IDF deliberately targets civilians has repeatedly been refuted.

Finkelstein told the Knesset committee that, in his view, not every case in which an Arab is killed requires a military investigation, “since we are engaged in fighting.”

Meshulam Amit, a former Border Police Commander and Police Operations Officer, told Arutz-7 during the establishment of the Ohr Commission, which investigated soldiers’ behavior during the Israeli Arab riots at the start of the Oslo War, "How can there be such an inquiry while the war is still continuing? I haven't heard that the PA established a similar committee after the brutal lynching of our two soldiers in Ramallah... It's true that we should be a light unto the nations, but the light can wait until after the war is over.”

Arutz-7's Ezra HaLevi points out that, "The damage is already done. The second the IDF agrees to launch an inquiry, it appears in the headlines as an admission of guilt. All the headlines are still sitting in libraries, on microfilm, and all over the Internet, while the findings of the various IDF committees of investigation remain in the office of the IDF spokesperson."

"The IDF and Israel's foreign ministry needs to learn the word 'liar' - and to use it accompanied by a pointed finger next time a counter-terror operation is termed a massacre by some hack from the Associated Press, quoting an anonymous source from the P.A. followed by, 'an IDF spokesperson said that the army would investigate the incident'," said HaLevi.

In a speech on September 11th, 2003, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya’alon revealed that terrorist leaders, conscious of Israel’s policy of taking every step to avoid civilian death, intentionally and systematically hide in civilian population centers, thereby placing them in the line of fire.