New investigation policy regarding Palestinian casualties from IDF fire

The policy pertains to casualties in the Judea and Samaria region and does not pertain to incidents considered incidents of combat (such as crossfire)

Date: 06/04/2011, 9:35 AM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

On Wednesday (Apr. 6), the Israeli government notified the Supreme Court about policy changes in investigating incidents of Palestinian casualties from IDF (Zahal) fire in the Judea and Samaria Region. The IDF (Zahal) Military Advocate General, Maj. Gen. Avihay Mandelblit, made the decision to change this policy, the latter having been in place since the year 2000.

According to the previous policy, an incident would be investigated in the field, its results determined by the Criminal Investigations Division of the IDF (Zahal) Military Police Corps.

The new policy requires every case in which uninvolved Palestinians are killed by IDF (Zahal) fire to be investigated immediately by the Criminal Investigation Division. This policy applies unless the incident occurred during an activity cearly stated as combat (e.g. fire exchange between two parties).

The IDF (Zahal) Military Advocacy has discussed this policy change over recent months with IDF (Zahal) Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, retired IDF (Zahal) Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, GOC Central Command, Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi and commanders of the Judea and Samaria Division.

During these discussions it became clear that due to IDF (Zahal), ISA and other security forces’ efforts, IDF (Zahal) activity in the Judea and Samaria region clearly stated as combat has been reduced.

The Military Advocate General’s decision, made with the Attorney General of Israel, reflects changes in IDF (Zahal) activity in that specific region and therefore does not apply to incidents in the Gaza Strip where IDF (Zahal) activity is often clearly stated combat.