IDF to Probe Two Gaza Strikes

Probe into possible 'breaches of international law' to include July 16 beach strike, July 24 UNRWA school hit.

Tova Dvorin , | updated: 3:38 PM

Site of Israeli air strike in Gaza (file)
Site of Israeli air strike in Gaza (file)
Flash 90

The IDF is opening a criminal investigation into two strikes in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, Israeli media reported Wednesday, and whether or not they targeted civilians, breaking international law. 

The strikes are among the clashes during the war which faced the fiercest media backlash: an IAF strike on July 16 in which four children were reportedly killed, and a July 24 strike on a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school which allegedly killed sixteen people.

At least one of the strikes - the UNRWA school incident - already underwent an IDF investigation early in the operation, after the UN and Hamas falsely claimed that the IDF prevented civilians from being evacuated before the strike. 

Fifty-five additional incidents will also be investigated, according to Walla! News. Of those, five were confirmed by IDF Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. 

Six different staffs were appointed to investigate the complaints; of those, five are headed by Brigadier Generals and the sixth by the Northern Corps Commander, General Noam Tivon.

The chief military prosecutor, Gen. Danny Efroni, ordered an investigation into twelve of the incidents under scrutiny; of those, two he ordered for further investigation by the Military Police, four he ordered for the IDF units involved to be investigated without due process, and in one case, regarding the Golani Brigade, charges of looting are being investigated. 

The UN and Hamas have already accused Israel of "war crimes" during its fifty-day self-defense operation in Gaza. The announcement surfaces hours after a similar announcement was made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who said Wednesday that he would open an investigation into several IAF strikes on UN schools - as well as a separate investigation into the schools themselves, which housed Hamas's rocket arsenal. 

However, many of the complaints launched against the IDF from all sides are based on misconceptions on Palestinian Arab "civilian casualties" in Gaza - which have been proven to be false or misconstrued. 

An in-depth investigation into the casualty count last month revealed that the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry (PHM) monopolized the media's portrayal of the conflict, and provided a "death count" which included repeated names, the names of known terrorists, and the names of Gazans who were later found alive and well. 

Several of the dead were also likely killed by the over 100 rockets Hamas misfired into its own territory, or directly by Hamas itself - who executed over thirty people for "collaborating" with Israel last month.  

Hamas's cowing foreign journalists into portraying the "right" version of events is also well-documented.