JERUSALEM: After initially finding no grounds for disciplinary action, the Israeli military later opened an investigation into an artillery bombardment that killed six Palestinian civilians, including an infant, in the Gaza Strip in May.
To date, no soldiers or senior officers have been punished for the errant fire, which witnesses say came without warning.
Human rights groups have long accused the Israeli military of having a poor record of investigating the conduct of its troops, and the Haaretz daily last week accused the army of covering up the incident.
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The shelling during the latest war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza took place in the night of May 13. It came ahead of an Israeli bombardment targeting Hamas’s underground tunnel network. Ahead of the tunnel strikes, Israeli artillery bombarded the northern Gaza Strip and struck near a cluster of dilapidated homes belonging to a Bedouin community outside the town of Beit Lahia.
Nasser Abu Fares, 50, a local resident, said relatives were visiting to mark the Eid, and he was standing near his home when the shelling began. “The first shell fell on my house in this area, and the dust rose, and we ran until we were 100 meters away,” he said.
While the Israeli military often issues warnings to residents ahead of large-scale operations, Abu Fares said: “No one warned us.”
The barrage killed six people, including three of his daughters and his nine-month-old grandson.