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Commander questioned over Gaza killings
Published Friday 22/10/2010 (updated) 23/10/2010 20:04
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Samouni children in a Gaza City morgue [MaanImages]
TEL AVIV (Ma'an) -- An Israeli army commander was questioned Thursday over his involvement in the killing of 21 members of a Gaza family during Israel's last war on Gaza, Israeli press said.

Colonel Ilan Malka told Military Police that he was unaware of a civilian presence in the Samouni household when he approved an airstrike on the home on 5 January 2009, the Israeli news site Ynet said. The bombing killed 21 members of the same family and injured a further 19.

The initial investigation conducted by the Israeli military found nothing unusual about the attack. A new probe was launched after the report issued by the UN fact-finding mission headed by jurist Richard Goldstone found that Israeli forces deliberately targeted civilians in the attack.

Soldiers had ordered around 100 Samouni family members to stay in the house the day before the airstrike.

"Everything indicates that the Israeli forces knew that there were about 100 civilians in the house. Indeed, the families had asked to be allowed to leave the area towards a safer place, but had been ordered to stay in Wa’el al-Samouni’s house. The house must have been under constant observation by the Israeli soldiers, who had complete control over the area at the time," the report found.

Malka, who authorized the bombing, was questioned under caution for the first time on Thursday, Ynet said. Since the war, which Israel launched in December 2008, Malka was promoted to assistant chief of staff for operations at the Central Command, Ynet said, adding that his promotion to brigadier-general had been put on hold.

An unnamed security source told the Israeli daily Haaretz that the probe into this particular incident had raised "explosive and highly sensitive material," which could call Israel's rules of engagement into question.

The military police investigation was opposed by at least two senior Israeli army officials, including Commander-General Yoav Galant and General Avi Mizrahi, Haaretz reported. Further, on reviewing video footage of the killing, Mizrahi said he "would have done the same," the report said.

Wa'el Samouni, whose house was targeted by the missile strike, told the UN mission, "The entire Samouni family was destroyed. Their land was churned. We have no trees left. What we are asking for is one thing, one question. Please answer this question. Why did the Israelis do this to us? They killed our children, our women, and once you have lost your loved ones, what can you do in life. Why did you do this? Why did the Israelis do this?"

No decision has been made on whether to charge officers, Haaretz said.
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1 ) Salma / Palestine
22/10/2010 11:43
There's no REAL questioned....just more "IDF" farce !

2 ) Alistair(Ali)Clark / Scotland for Palestine
22/10/2010 13:22
I understand why powerful images of children are used and I always support Palestine but theses images are too much,heartbreaking to say the least.

3 ) billy / israel
22/10/2010 13:59
What we are asking for is one thing, one question. Please answer this question. Why did the arabs do this to us? They killed our children, our women, and once you have lost your loved ones, what can you do in life. Why did you do this? Why did the arabs do this?"

relevant both ways

4 ) BIG MIKE / US
22/10/2010 14:55
IS THIS THE ISRAEL OF GOD??? ABSOLUTLY NOT! THE WORLD HAS BEEN DECIEVED INTO SUPPORTING THE DEVIL AND HIS KINGDOM CALLING IT ISRAEL AND CUTTING OFF ANYONE THAT DOESN'T BOW TO THIS LIE CALLED ISRAEL. WAKE UP PEOPLE YOU ARE SUPPORTING ANTICHRISTS AND THE NATION'S LIE CALLED ISRAEL A TITLE THEY STOLE FROM THE BIBLE. READ DANIEL chap 7 also chap 11 versus 36 through 45 of this MAN OF SIN ANTICHRIST thing called Zionist "Israel" compare with REV CHAP 13 and understand what you have helped to create.

5 ) Palestinian / LA
22/10/2010 15:10
agree with Salma

6 ) Davide / Italy
22/10/2010 15:51
Public opinion should know the rest...soldiers took the house, urinated and defecated on the ground,left graffiti with insults, prevented to bury the bodies of the dead ones...threatened and abused...war crimes for which no Israelis will ever pay under Israeli jurisdiction...war criminals like the Nazis whom in the past Jews rightly wanted to prosecute...but the story is being unfair with Palestinian civilians...

7 ) BEN JABO / ISRAEL/USA
22/10/2010 16:05
We know full well that Hamas placed their positions in the midst of civilians, using them as human shields, their spokesman boasted about doing it

Mr. Fahti Hammad's tape is readily available on You tube, listen and see for yourselves, then blame Hamas for the loss, they caused it !!

8 ) fedora/ journalist / poland
22/10/2010 17:04
The Goldstone Report already proved beyond a doubt that this was a war crime of huge proportions. Any "probing" that the war criminals (Israel) do to try to prove their own innocence is of no importance. It only shows how heinous and racist Israel is. If a home full of Jewish families was bombed, by Hamas, and then later Hamas investigated their own crime, wouldn't you be giggling? Israel has lower itself to new slimy depths.

9 ) Phil / UK
22/10/2010 18:28
#8) What the Goldstone report proved was that it is totally impossible for Israel to get a fair hearing from any investigation commissioned by the UN.
It is known fact that Hamas deliberately put civilians in places they are firing weapons from, for no other reason than to cause this sort of carnage.
It is also a known fact that Goldstone was commissioned, not to investigate, but to frame Israel. The report's conclusion was pre-determined.

10 ) southparkbear / usa
22/10/2010 19:08
polak #8, we have had too many to count events where families where targeted by arabs. unfortunatly we had FEW and countable mistake where innocents were killed during operation. to put this in perspective compare this with % of innocents killed in afghanistan, kosavo or any other place

11 ) carine / UK
22/10/2010 20:33
#2 Alistair
Heartbreaking images indeed, I agree, but Alistair, the world needs to be reminded just how cruel and heartless the IDF was and still is. We must not forget that these precious children are among hundreds who were killed during Cast Lead, just as they continue to kill children to this day.

12 ) carine / UK
22/10/2010 20:43
#7
How dare you twist things. These tiny children were deliberately killed by YOUR IDF soldiers. You know, the ones you are so proud of, the ones who continue to kill children to this day. You should be cringing with shame!!!

13 ) BIG MIKE / US
22/10/2010 22:06
9 ) Phil / UK Why are you supporting this evil? I thought you was a "Christian"you know true Christians don't start nor support war. Please don't continue encouraging such. to much innocent blood is being shed on both sides.Please encourage both side to fight smart with truth not literal weapons. you and Ben Jobo are not helping matters sending these type of antagonistic messages.set an example for your Christan friends as to what they are supposed to believe and put into practice. PEACE LOVING

14 ) Mary / US
22/10/2010 22:34
The three little ones on the carpet runner too. The carpet runner that little feet ran on, now their little bodies are laid out on it in a row, with their father crying over them. What a powerfull, picture - nothing has ever been worse.

15 ) Nour / One-State
22/10/2010 22:47
There's no humanity in using and re-recycling images of dead children - NO EXCUSE is acceptable Maan. Please refrain from disrespecting the souls of dead children, they deserve more respect.

16 ) Maureen / Australia
22/10/2010 23:17
9) Phil, Israel had every opportunity to participate in the Goldstone Report, but being the arrogant, 'synagogue of Satin' that it is proving itself to be, refused to cooperate! The human beings who are locked in Gaza had nowhere to flee from the "greater Holocaust" that had been promised by the Israeli political Zionist, Valinai! BTW, it was Israel who broke the cease fire, prior to the Cast Lead slaughter!

17 ) Amarein / Palestine
22/10/2010 23:22
what a sham ....... with all the sophisticated military equipment of today , how could they not be aware of innocent civilian presence? Gaza is the most densely populated strip of land in the world i have respect for wars that are waged between armed forces not deliberate targeting of infants, women and old people! do not blame Hamas ...... blame the ones who fired the shells welcome to the UNHOLY LAND! Allah knows the truth!!!!!

18 ) Jerrold Cohen / USA
23/10/2010 01:45
We seem to forget the Israeli brass saying in Ha'aretz that Operation Cast Lead was revenge against the Palestinian Gaza civilians for voting in Hamas, and then suddenly being shut up. I have long ago come to the conclusion that the Israeli military is a pack of murderers and liars.

19 ) BEN JABO / ISRAEL/USA
23/10/2010 02:14
Israel underwent a barrage of more than 8000 rockets, warned Hamas repeatedly to stop & desist, Hamas intensified the fire

What was Israel supposed to do, just sit there and take it ?

Hamas didn't give a damn for it's civilians, they boasted that they were willing Human Shields

I pity the kids, shame on their elders that hid behind them


20 ) Niva dos Santos / Brazil
23/10/2010 06:20
IOF is a bunch of war criminals. From the bottom to top. Criminals do not judge criminals. Justice is the zions entity is a farse. These barbarians from the Middle Age just understand the language of war. Send the God's fire over that crap - an eye for a eye...!!!!

21 ) Davide / Italy
23/10/2010 17:52
It's just impossible to have a discussion based on international law with people such as Ben Rabo and Phil....they live in the caves where force is the only word they know...in fact they support war criminals such as Israeli IDF and Politicians...letting aside just "common" thieves of land who are the settlers...

22 ) BEN JABO / ISRAEL/US
24/10/2010 05:24
21 ) Davide
Of course it's impossible to discuss it, you refuse to accept the facts
From the very day the Jewish State was declared, Arabs ignored the UN Partition, in defiance of International Laws
You know, no matter how many times I've asked for deeds to be presented when Arab land ownership is in dispute, NOBODY, I MEAN NOBODY has been able to come up with one
We have the Hebrew Bible, 3300 years of age,New Testament 2000 yrs., where's your proof, show me Jerusalem in the Koran !!

23 ) Phil / UK
24/10/2010 15:36
You will not see any evidence in the Koran to back their claims. But the Bible, both Hebrew and New Testament speak of the Koran's author. He is called the false prophet. Right now he is teaming up with the man from Rome, whom the Bible calls the Antichrist.
Its true that I am referring to them in an allegorical sense, but these two entities are coming together as prophesied (Islam/Rome). And they will be headed by the two predicted, whose end will be in the lake of fire when Jesus returns.
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