IDF to Charge Soldiers with Looting During Gaza Op

The Military Advocate General has written indictments against several IDF soldiers who took part in the fighting in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. They are accused of looting. 

The charges will be filed against the soldiers pending a hearing, Haaretz reported, as looting carries a substantial sentence of up to ten years' imprisonment. 

The soldier's defense attorneys have been notified of the Military Advocate General's intent to prosecute, and will be allowed the opportunity to defend them during the hearing. 

According to the report, military police are investigating four different incidents in which there is suspicion of looting by IDF forces. 

These four cases are alleged to have occurred in southern Gazan city Khan Younis and the Khaza'a village to its east. 

Palestinians complained that Israeli troops stole their possessions while they were fleeing from their homes during military activity in the area. 

The investigation of a similar case, which occurred in Shejaiya and was reported during the operation itself, ended with the arrest of a Golani Brigade combat soldier. He is accused of pilfering cash from a residence. 

The Military Advocate General's office considers the looting of property a serious offense as it "damages the morality of the IDF," and has a negative effect on army's international legitimacy. 

Officials also believe that looting offenses, aside from harming the civilian population, compromises the operational readiness of the forces, as soldiers become invested in the search for property, or in the case of Shejaiya, cash, instead of fighting. 

An official of the IDF Spokesperson's Office said "Letters about the hearing prior to the indictment of several soldiers suspected of looting during Operation Protective Edge were sent out in the past few days. Once the hearing procedures have been completed, the Military Advocate General's office will make a decision as to prosecution." 

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/190953

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