Mistaking boys playing in a Gaza beach area for Hamas fighters and firing two missiles at them, killing four, is a tragic accident and not a reason to press criminal charges, an Israeli military magistrate’s office ruled.
“The case has been closed following the completion of a criminal investigation,” the IDF said in a statement on Thursday.
The incident in question happened on July 16 last year as the Israeli Defense Force was engaged in a 50-day war with the Hamas militant movement. The hostilities killed some 2,200 Palestinians, including at least 1,492 civilians, according to a UN count. Among them were four boys aged between nine and 11. They were killed by two missiles fired by the IDF.
The attack, which also injured two other boys and a 21-year-old man sparked outrage, as journalists reporting on the aftermath of the hit said there was no apparent military target in the vicinity. Israel launched a criminal investigation into the episode, which resulted this week in a decision not to press charges against anyone.