Israel briefs US, UN on Gaza probes

Israeli team meets US, U

Military Advocate General Maj.-Gen. Avihai Mandelblit met with US administration and UN officials in New York overnight Wednesday, briefing them on investigations the IDF is conducting into last winter's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. The Jerusalem Post revealed last month that Military Police were conducting 28 different criminal investigations launched by Mandelblit after he had reviewed 140 complaints submitted by human rights organizations and Palestinian civilians. Mandelblit provided the US and UN officials with details on how Israel was dealing with the complaints. The Post also learned last month that the Military Police launched a new criminal investigation into allegations that soldiers had committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, amid IDF efforts to complete a report to counter the accusations leveled at it by the Goldstone Commission. According to B'tselem, Military Police investigators contacted the human rights organization and asked it to coordinate a meeting with several Palestinians at the Erez crossing, in order to question them regarding the deaths of two Palestinian men who were killed in their car near Dir el-Balah on January 15. B'tselem has a field worker, Mohammed Sabah, based in the Gaza Strip, whose job is to track down Palestinians who wish to file complaints against Israel and bring them to the Erez crossing to give testimony. The IDF investigations are due to be completed in the coming weeks.