The Israel government has decided to confront issues related to misbehavior on the part of members of the Israel Defense Force(IDF) during the recent invasion of Gaza. An army source angrily commented: “we do not need NGOs and rights groups to tell us to investigate ourselves. we know how to investigate on our own and have been open all along to receiving additional material from peace groups.” There is no doubt historically the IDF has been sensitive to violations of law by its members and willing to admit errors. The current investigation into fourteen cases of alleged abuses can only benefit Israel. There are allegations IDF soldiers looted Palestinian homes, beat prisoners and used Palestinians as human shields to avoid getting shot.
The good news is a decision by Israel’s military leaders that in the future civilians will be warned about possible bombings and even provide information to them on the best way to get to safety. An open trial with information publicly shared is the best defense against accusations of human rights violations.