(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The military on Monday issued a strong condemnation of the B'Tselem human rights organization, saying its most recent report on IDF investigations into alleged wrongdoings by Israeli forces during the 2014 Gaza conflict was "another step in the delegitimization campaign B'Tselem is waging against the Israeli legal system in general, and the military justice system in particular."
B'Tselem's new report accused military decision-makers of opting for operational policies that resulted in the "unprecedented killing" of Palestinian civilians, further alleging the IDF is using "an extensive cover-up mechanism" to dismiss claims brought against Israeli soldiers.
The group's report argues that "investigations into incidents that took place during Operation Protective Edge engaged mainly in the creation of false representation of a functioning system, one ostensibly seeking the truth, while those truly responsible for violations [of the rules of war] are not investigated. All that is done is conducting superficial reviews pertaining to individual events devoid of context."
The report claims that nearly two-thirds of Palestinian casualties during the military campaigns were civilians, including 526 minors. Hundreds of Palestinians were killed in airstrikes on residential areas, "raising suspicions that Israel violated international humanitarian law."
The IDF said in a statement, "The report suffers from extreme bias and unprofessionalism, and it appears that when trying to paint the Israeli legal system as flawed, B'Tselem believes the end justifies the means.
"The report either ignores vast information released by Israel with the aim of promoting transparency, or presents this information in a distorted manner. The report also demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the reality of fighting in the Gaza Strip, and unprofessionalism in the interpretation and implementation of the laws of war in this complex reality."