The Israeli occupation army said it had closed a probe into last year’s bombing of a Gaza beach where four children were martyred.
“The… case has been closed following the completion of a criminal investigation,” it said in a statement, adding that two other cases involving Palestinian deaths in the fighting had also been closed, but a criminal investigation had been launched in an attack on a cafe in which nine died.
Cousins Ahed Atef Bakr and Zakaria Ahed Bakr, both aged 10, nine-year-old Mohamed Ramez Bakr and 11-year-old Ismail Mohamed Bakr were playing on the beach in Gaza City when they were hit in strikes witnessed by journalists staying at a beachfront hotel.
The incident is among those likely to be presented by the Palestinians to the International Criminal Court as evidence of Israeli war crimes.
On January 16 the ICC announced “a preliminary examination” into Israel’s actions over a period including the Gaza war in which more than 2,200 Palestinians were killed, mainly civilians.
On April 1 the Palestinians acceded to the ICC with the goal of trying Israeli leaders over abuses in the Gaza war and crimes relating to the occupation of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
But the Israeli military has expressed confidence that its own internal probes will be “sufficient” to head off action by the Hague-based court.
Thursday night’s statement said the military was also closing the files on the July 21 air raid on a residential tower block in central Gaza City, in which 15 people were killed, and a July 29 strike on the southern town of Khan Yunis which took the lives of several members of the same family.
It said that military authorities had ordered criminal investigations into the deaths of nine people in an attack on a Khan Younis cafe on July 9 and into other accusations of abusing a detainee and unlawfully firing at a medical clinic.