Silver Lining

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Israeli prosecutor to close Gaza massacre probe

NAZARETH, (PIC)– The Israeli military prosecutor is expected to close an investigation into the murder of four Palestinian civilians, including a three-year-old girl, who were waving a white flag during the 2008-9 Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

The prosecution claimed there was not enough evidence to support that the shooting contravened the law. Israel’s Chief Military Advocate General Avichai Mendelblit had testified before the Turkel committee, the same board that investigated the Freedom Flotilla massacre, on what happened in the Al-Zaytoun suburb in Gaza city on January 5, 2009, when four were killed and nine others injured, including a baby less than seven months old.

The Goldstone report had also mentioned the incident after it was highlighted by the Israeli B’Tselem rights group. According to that report, the Huja family tried to flee their home after the war began on land in their area. The head of household Mohammed Huja was then killed after a rocket hit the home. Then Israeli soldiers entered and ordered the family to move to a nearby house where around 30 people were being detained in a room, with the men cuffed and blindfolded. Then, after noon, the soldiers forced the people to leave the house, and the Arafat family joined them waving a white flag.

The report says that the soldiers proceeded to open fire against them, killing Alla Arafat, 27, and injuring seven others. As the Red Cross did not manage to reach the area, Mahmoud Huja, 15, and baby Shahd Huja also died later. Military police decided to investigate the massacre in the wake of those Goldstone and B’Tselem reports.

Two years later, the military prosecutor said the soldiers did not fire in contradiction to procedure and that the case is expected to be closed without an indictment.

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