[ Ed. note – It hardly needs to be pointed out (but I’ll take the trouble to do so anyway) that a military authority investigating itself for war crimes is not likely to render much in the way of a “fair” and “impartial” verdict. I’ll also take a wild guess and say Dostoevsky would have agreed. ]
By Harriet Agerholm
The Israeli military has exonerated itself over a series of deadly air strikes during the 2014 war in Gaza.
Investigators had been collecting testimony from military officers and Gaza residents relating to seven incidents during the conflict, three of them lethal.
[ Ed. note – Additional reporting on the same story can be found at Ma’an News. The video below–purportedly from the 2014 war in Gaza–contains footage I had not seen prior to coming across it today. Be advised, it is rather graphic. ]
[ Ed. note – The following was reported by RT yesterday. Whether it portends the outbreak of another war in Gaza, I can’t say, but certainly the situation does not look good ]
“Gaza is under the control of Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization. The security environment within Gaza and on its borders is dangerous and volatile,” the travel warning statement reads.
The State Department warned Americans against “all travel” to Gaza and urged those present to “depart as soon as possible when border crossings open.”
The warning follows a flare-up Sunday, which began when a rocket was fired from the Strip on the Israeli border town of Sderot. In response, Israel launched dozes of strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza.
Four people were wounded by the Israeli strikes, according to Palestinian medical officials. No injuries were reported from the rocket fired by Palestinian militants.
The latest rocket is the 14th to hit Israeli territory from Gaza since January, according to Israel’s military.
The border area has been especially tense since the 2014 war between Israel and Gaza militants, in which claimed the lives of more than 2,200 Palestinians – including 1,462 civilians – and 73 Israelis, of which 67 were soldiers.
Although the two sides have not engaged in conflict since then, flare-ups occur intermittently, particularly in the border area. Palestinian civilians and children are often among the casualties.
Since October 2015, 34 Israelis and 220 Palestinians have been killed in Israel and the territories, according to an AFP count.
The Wednesday warning is not the first time the State Department has issued a call to US citizens in the region – it issued a similar advisory in December 2015.