Justice Ministry announces greater AG oversight of IDF’s MAG on war crimes issues

Report finds significant shortcomings in Israel’s investigative apparatus.

April 17, 2015 08:26
1 minute read.
israeli tank

An Israeli tank drives near the border as it returns to Israel from Gaza.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The Justice Ministry announced Thursday night that the Attorney-General will have greater oversight over the IDF’s Magistrate Advocate General when it comes to war crimes issues as part of the government’s implementation of the Second Turkel Report recommendations.

The first report of the Turkel Commission (named for its lead member, former Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel) was on the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident, but its second report of February 2013, which parts of the government did not even want at first, evaluated Israel’s entire apparatus for self-investigating war crimes regarding whether it met international law standards.

The report found that Israel’s investigative apparatus did in fact meet international law standards.

Still, it issued 18 recommendations for improvement, with the distinct implication that – without trying to give ammunition to delegitimization campaigns – there were significant shortcomings in the apparatus.

Regarding the recommendations, some were implemented before the report’s issuance and some after, while others were hotly debated, modified or rejected.

At the start of 2014, the Ciechanover Commission, an interministerial body of legal experts named for its head, former Foreign Ministry legal adviser Joseph Ciechanover, was formed to explore the 18 recommendations. Its job also was to formulate how to implement certain recommendations and how to change – or why to reject – others.

Thursday’s announcement was another step forward in implementing those recommendations.

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