Report Suggests Israel Not Probing the Deaths of Palestinians

By Kelsey Duckett

Story: Washington Post

JERUSALEM — An Israeli human rights group charged in a report released Tuesday that Israel’s military has failed to adequately investigate cases in which Palestinian civilians have been killed by soldiers.

The B’Tselem report said that in the past four years, soldiers have killed 1,510 Palestinians, including 617 civilians, but no soldiers have been indicted. The figure does not include civilians killed during the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip in 2008-09.

Analysis:

This, in my opinion, is one of those cases where it is difficult to charge Israel’s military for the deaths of what the report is calling “citizens.” In this situation, the definition of a civilian is a person who was not participating in violence at the time of his or her death.

I feel this definition is lacking, in a lot of situations these deaths are taking place in city’s and in well populated areas. Also, these “citizens” are dressed in everyday clothing, much like a regular citizen would. That being said, I think it is very important to investigate each death, no matter where it took place or how it happened to make sure there was no foul or illegal activity taking place.

Though I feel this will be difficult, and I feel it will be even more difficult to prove that Isreal’s military was acting unjustly when killing Palestinians. The difference in killings is obvious though, with over 6,300 Palestinians killed compared to the more than 1,100 Israelis who have been killed.

A report, and an investigation is necessary based on statistics alone, but with the seemingly vague definition of “civilian,” I feel it will be hard to prove any wrong-doing.

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