Two years ago, in the summer of 2014, another “round of fighting” between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip took place. Israel called it Operation Protective Edge. In term of harm to Palestinians, it was the deadliest and most destructive bout of hostilities since 1967. During Operation Protective Edge, Israel killed 2,202 Palestinians, hundreds of them in their homes. Sixty-three percent, or 1,391, did not take part in the fighting, including 526 minors. It is estimated that 18,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged and that more than 100,000 Palestinians were rendered homeless.
This extensive harm raised grave concerns that Israel had breached international humanitarian law (IHL). The only official body in Israel supposedly investigating these concerns is the Military Advocate General’s Corps (MAG Corps), which announced that it had begun its investigations before the fighting ended. However, much like investigations into previous rounds of fighting, once again, there are no investigations of the true culprits: Neither government officials nor senior military commanders, who devised the policy, were responsible for the orders and made operational decisions during the fighting – were ever investigated by any official body nor held to account for their responsibility for the devastating effects of their decisions. Two years after the fact, there has been no investigation of policy issues, including the policy of targeting inhabited homes, which resulted in the Israeli military killing hundreds of people; the policy of indiscriminate artillery fire at inhabited areas; and the policy of destroying farmland and thousands of homes.
Samer Badawi: With no justice on the horizon for Gaza, what comes next?