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Israel army concludes probe into 2014 ‘Battle of Rafah’

Palestinians search for victims under the rubble of a house which was destroyed by an Israeli air strike during Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip on 24 July 2014 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Palestinians search for victims under the rubble of a house which was destroyed during the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip on 24 July 2014 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Israeli military prosecutors on Wednesday closed a years-long probe into the “Battle of Rafah”, also known as “Black Friday” — one of the bloodiest events of Israel’s 2014 onslaught against the blockaded Gaza Strip, Anadolu reports.

“Military prosecutors have decided to close their investigation into clashes that occurred between the Israeli army and Hamas during Operation Protective Edge,” Israeli daily Haaretz quoted an Israeli army statement as saying.

“Prosecutors have decided not to file any criminal charges against the [Israeli] commander involved in the incident,” the statement read.

During the battle, 42 Hamas fighters — along with at least 72 Palestinian civilians — were killed, according to Israeli figures.

The battle began on Aug. 1, 2014, after Israeli Army Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was captured — and two other Israeli soldiers killed — by Palestinian resistance fighters.

Read: Israel reopens Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza

Israeli troops deployed in the area reportedly initiated the so-called “Hannibal Protocol”, a controversial directive giving field commanders the right to “do anything” to prevent the capture of Israeli soldiers.

Israel’s 2014 military onslaught left more than 2,300 Palestinians dead and much of the Gaza Strip’s vital infrastructure in ruins.

At least 70 Israelis — 65 soldiers and five civilians — were also killed in the conflict, according to Israeli figures.

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