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Gaza: IDF accused of abuses, army attorney general recognizes “unacceptable incidents”

The military prosecutor of the Israeli army, Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, announced this Wednesday, February 21 that an investigation has been opened following certain practices of soldiers in the Gaza Strip.

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Gaza: IDF accused of abuses, army attorney general recognizes “unacceptable incidents”

The military prosecutor of the Israeli army, Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, announced this Wednesday, February 21 that an investigation has been opened following certain practices of soldiers in the Gaza Strip. Several of these actions are “criminal in nature and the authorities are investigating them,” she said, according to Israeli state television KAN, cited by the Spanish daily ABC.

“Since the start of the war, the military has generally used its power with great professionalism and in accordance with the law,” she explained, before continuing: “There have also been unacceptable incidents that were inconsistent with the law.” with the values ​​of the Israeli armed forces, contrary to instructions.” She denounced an “unjustified use of force, particularly against prisoners”, “looting”, as well as “the destruction of civilian property”.

The statement came the day after Israeli Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi sent a letter to his troops. “We act like human beings and, unlike our enemy, we retain our humanity,” he wrote, reports Israeli television channel i24NEWS. “We must be careful not to use force where it is not necessary, to distinguish between the terrorist and the non-terrorist, not to take what is not ours, a souvenir or weapons, and not to film revenge videos,” he continued, according to the news channel.

Since Israel launched its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip last October, numerous photos and videos show Israeli soldiers taking revenge on the Palestinian civilian population. Thefts, derogatory comments and acts of vandalism have been recorded and attributed to IDF fighters, according to the New York Times analysis.

Israeli troops also brought back many animals to their country: “many dogs and cats, at least one parrot and three horses,” said The Times of Israel this Wednesday. It is “a simple gesture of kindness and benevolence”, but in the eyes of some, this practice would amount to theft or pillage, prohibited by the Geneva conventions.

An Israeli soldier, for example, took three horses with him “with permission” from his commander, reports the Israeli daily. However, these animals “appear to have been stolen”, suspects the owner of the factory manufacturing the food given to the equines. But he recognizes that it’s ultimately better for their survival: “They were thin, they were hungry, they were neglected. They would have died if they had stayed there.” The IDF has opened an investigation into this matter, our colleagues report.

"I am not a lawyer but if the choice must be to 'steal' a horse [...] to save it [...], then I am in favor of 'theft'", retorted Ben Ozeri, an activist from animal wellbeing. He also recalls that Hamas terrorists also stole animals in Israel during the October 7 attack.

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