Two soldiers convicted of overstepping authority

Givati infantrymen found guilty of overstepping authority by ordering Palestinian boy to open suspicious bag during Operation Cast Lead.

Soldiers 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post))
Soldiers 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post))
Two Givati Brigade infantrymen on Sunday were convicted of overstepping authority to the point of endangering human life and inappropriate behavior during Operation Cast Lead in 2009.
The Southern Command Military Prosecutor’s Office decided that the soldiers acted inappropriately when they ordered a Palestinian boy to open bags suspected of containing bombs during the Gaza operation last year.
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The conviction is the first of its kind for what is termed in the IDF "neighbor procedure" which deals with the use of human shields during searches and pursuits, which has been outlawed.
In March the Military Prosecutor’s Office claimed that the two staff sergeants ordered a child to open bags that were suspected of being booby-trapped while searching a building in Tel al-Hawa, an affluent neighborhood on the south side of Gaza City.
The two soldiers came under investigation before the UN’s Goldstone Report was released last September. The probe was opened based on information in a report compiled by a special United Nations representative appointed to investigate matters involving children and armed conflict, and following a specific complaint filed by the Israeli branch of Defense for Children International.
Yaakov Katz contributed to this report