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April 6, 2024 (EIRNS)—The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fired two officers and reprimanded several others following an investigation of its April 1 strikes that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza. Announcements were made yesterday. The IDF’s General Staff Fact-Finding Assessment Mechanism characterized the strikes an accident resulting from the mis-identification of the targets. The IDF said the findings of the investigation show that the incident “could have been prevented, and at the same time, those who approved the attack were convinced that they were attacking armed Hamas operatives and not WCK members,” reported the Times of Israel. “The attack on the aid vehicles is a serious mistake, which stemmed from a serious failure, as a result of wrong identification, a mistake in decision-making, and an attack contrary to the orders and open-fire regulations,” the IDF said.

But will this explanation of the killing of seven aid workers as an accident satisfy anybody? Rights groups and aid workers say the April 1 “mistake” was hardly an anomaly. They say the wider problem is not violations of the military’s rules of engagement but the rules themselves, reported AP. In Israel’s drive to destroy Hamas after its Oct. 7 attacks, the rights groups and aid workers say, the military seems to have given itself wide leeway to determine what is a target and how many civilian deaths it allows as “collateral damage.”

Sarit Michaeli, spokeswoman for the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, said the World Central Kitchen strike drew world attention only because foreigners were killed. “The thought that this is a unique case, that it’s a rare example—it’s an insult to the intelligence of anyone who has been following the situation,” she said. She said a broader investigation is needed into the rules of engagement: “The relevant questions aren’t asked because the investigations only deal with specific cases, rather than the broader policy.”

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