Between 7 July 2014 and 26 August 2014, for almost 51 days, Israel launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip codenamed "Operation Protective Edge" (OPE). The operation killed 2,251 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom were civilians, including 299 women and 551 children. The operation also caused massive destruction to 18,000 homes and other civilian property, including hospitals and vital infrastructure.
Adalah, together with Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, filed a series of complaints to the Israeli Military Advocate General (MAG) and the Israeli Attorney General (AG) demanding independent investigations into suspected violations of international humanitarian law (IHL), international human rights law (IHRL) and international criminal law (ICL) during the 2014 operation, and the criminal prosecutions of perpetrators.
However, three years after OPE, the handling of these complaints by the Israeli authorities has proven what previous experience with the Israeli investigatory system has long made clear: Israel is unwilling to conduct genuine, independent investigations into suspected war crimes, and does not hold those responsible to account, as required by international law.2 This situation continues to be the case even after the Israeli military established its Fact-Finding Assessment Mechanism (FFAM) following OPE, which was supposed to improve its investigative processes.
The UN Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on the 2014 Gaza conflict, which released a report of its findings in June 2015, extensively documented and investigated numerous allegations of widespread and systematic violations of international law during the 2014 operation, and raised serious concerns that certain attacks by the Israeli military may amount to war crimes. The CoI also raised serious questions regarding the thoroughness of Israel's investigative mechanisms.