Israeli soldier avoids manslaughter charge

Sergeant accused of killing a mother and daughter during 2008-09 assault gets 45-day jail term as part of plea deal.

    Israeli soldier avoids manslaughter charge
    Israel's assault on Gaza killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians [GALLO/GETTY]

    A defence attorney says Israel's military prosecutor has dropped a manslaughter charge against a soldier suspected of killing a Palestinian mother and her daughter during Israel's assault on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009.

    Oded Savoray, the attorney, said on Sunday that as part of a plea deal, his client was convicted of shooting without permission and will serve 45 days in prison.

    The infantry sergeant had been the only soldier facing such a charge arising from an offensive that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, the majority of whom were civilians, and 13 Israelis.

    The two women, Ria Abu Hajaj, 64, and her daughter, Majda, 37, were killed on January 4, 2009 and mentioned in the report of a United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.

    The report found that the two women were carrying a white flag while fleeing an area near their Gaza City home when they were fired upon by Israeli soldiers from a distance of around 100 metres.

    Human rights groups have called for independent investigations of what they said were dozens of suspected unlawful killings during the attacks. Israel's military instead launched its own investigation of some deaths.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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