IDF closes 2 Cast Lead 'human shield' cases

The IDF’s Military Police found charges to be baseless, the army announced on Wednesday.

By
February 25, 2010 03:22
1 minute read.
The Jerusalem Post

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The IDF’s Military Police has completed two investigations into allegations that Israeli forces used Palestinian civilians as human shields during last winter’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and found the charges to be baseless, the army announced on Wednesday.

The IDF said the charges of human-shield-use had appeared in the Goldstone Report and that “one of the investigations was launched before the publication of the report, following a complaint by the Adalah organization. The second investigation was launched a short time after a [human shield] claim appeared in the Goldstone Report.”

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According to the Military Police’s findings, those who filed complaints had been arrested by IDF forces during combat near their places of residence. Soldiers had subsequently taken them to rear positions, where the detainees were grouped together.

“No basis was found for the claim that civilians were used as ‘human shields,’ since they [the detainees] were surrounded by soldiers as they walked, and did not walk at the head of the group. At no stage were they forced to open doors or enter homes,” the army said.

In addition, the investigations found that there was no basis for claims that detainees were abused, or that looting and vandalism occurred.

“The in-depth investigation into both complaints included witness statements by Palestinian residents (from those who submitted the complaints and from eyewitnesses), and soldiers and commanders who belonged to the relevant forces,” the IDF said.

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