BREAKING NEWS: B’Tselem demands investigation into Gen Gallant’s responsibility for Gaza War August 27, 2010
MEMO Middle East Monitor -Â 26 August 2010
The Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem, has expressed its objections to Israeli Security Minister, Ehud Barak’s appointment of General Yoav Gallant to the position of Chief of Staff in the Israeli army.
The organisation’s objections are based on the flawed decision to appoint Gallant prior to an investigation into the responsibility of decision makers during the Gaza war at both the political and military levels and particularly in relation to the extreme human rights violations that occurred. Operation Cast Lead was led by Gallant in his capacity as Commander of Israel’s southern region.
In a written statement, the organisation said; “Until today, no independent investigative body has been established with the authority to investigate this level [of command] and on-going current investigations focus on the lower levels of the Israeli army.” It added that the number of civilians targeted in Gaza during the campaign was unprecedented. 759 civilian non-combatants, including 318 minors were killed. According to UN data, during the conflict, more than 3,500 civilian homes were destroyed leaving approximately 20,000 people homeless.
The statement confirmed that “the conclusions of an independent investigation would have a direct impact on the possibility of making a clear assessment of General Gallant’s capability to lead the Israeli army in respect of maintaining a decent degree of morality.”