(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
IDF reservists have asked Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz to launch a criminal investigation against Haaretz for publishing "testimonies" by soldiers of alleged misconduct and serious human rights violations during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.
The "testimonies" were reported widely in the media. Last week, Judge Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit exonerated the IDF and decided to close a Military Police investigation into the accounts, claiming that they were based on rumors.
The letter, signed by 65 reservists who served in Operation Cast Lead, sent the letter to Mazuz on Monday and asked that he launch an investigation against Haaretz on charges of slander for reporting on the testimonies as if they were fact and not hearsay.
"It appears to us that Haaretz did not do the minimum of checking before reporting false accusations," the letter read.
"We are fed up with being called murderers and war criminals," said Amit Barak, who initiated the letter. "We will not tolerate being treated this way after as reservists we contribute to the state and come to serve in the IDF. We expect the state to stand up for us, its soldiers."
Barak said that some reservists were considering requesting that an investigation also be launched against head of the Rabin Pre-Military Academy Danny Zamir, who they claimed was instrumental in promoting the false accusations by leaking them to the press.