The IDF has formed an internal commission which will investigate the claims raised in the Goldstone Report over alleged war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza earlier this year.
While many voices in Israel over recent weeks supported the launch of a judicial commission of inquiry over the Goldstone allegations, the IDF has staunchly resisted “putting the IDF on trial”, insisting that the army’s internal investigations were sufficient.
The decision to investigate the Goldstone Report internally was taken by Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi and the military attorney general, Major General Avichai Mandelblitt.
The army’s policy is to treat the claims in the report in the same fashion as complaints brought against the IDF by human-rights organisations. The complaints have also been investigated by the army’s legal branch.
Of the 36 incidents detailed in the report, 24 were already known by the IDF and are in various stages of investigation. New investigations will be held into the additional 12 incidents, two of which include allegations of troops firing on Palestinian civilians holding white flags.
The new commission will be headed by former chief intelligence officer Brigadier General Yuval Halamish.
It will review the findings of previous investigations and submit a report to a team of senior legal officials set up by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.