Government Sacks 2 Military Commanders, Reprimands 1 After Drone Attack K!lled 7 Aid Workers

The military asserted that the officers had mishandled critical information and violated Army’s rules of engagement.

The Israeli military on Friday said it has dismissed two officers and reprimanded a third for their roles in drone strikes in Gaza that killed seven aid workers on a food-delivery mission.

The military asserted that the officers had mishandled critical information and violated the army’s rules of engagement.

The workers from the charity, which provides food relief in crisis and conflict zones, were killed when their convoy was hit on Monday night.

Their convoy was struck repeatedly by IDF missiles shortly after they oversaw the unloading of 100 tons of food brought to the Palestinian territory by sea.

The findings of a retired general’s investigation into the Monday killings marked an embarrassing admission by Israel, which faces growing accusations from key allies, including the U.S., of not doing enough to protect Gaza’s civilians from its war with Hamas, according to DailyMail.

The findings are likely to renew skepticism over Israeli military’s decision-making.

Palestinians, aid groups and human rights organizations have repeatedly accused Israeli forces of firing recklessly at civilians throughout the conflict — a charge Israel denied.

“It’s a tragedy,” the military’s spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, told reporters, adding “It’s a serious event that we are responsible for and it shouldn’t have happened and we will make sure that it won’t happen again.”

With pressure mounting on Israel to hold itself accountable, Hagari and other officials late Thursday shared with reporters the results of the military’s uncommonly speedy and detailed investigation.

It was unclear whether the punishments and the apology would calm an international outcry over the deaths of the World Central Kitchen workers or reassure international aid groups that it was safe to resume operations in Gaza, where nearly a third of the population is on the brink of starvation.

According to what spokespeople said were the Israeli army’s rules, targets must be visually identified as threats for multiple reasons before they can be hit.

But the investigation determined that a colonel had authorized the series of deadly drone strikes on the convoy based on one major’s observation — from grainy drone camera footage — that someone in the convoy was armed. That observation turned out to be untrue, military officials said.

The army said the colonel and the major were dismissed, while three other officers were reprimanded.

It said the results of its investigation were turned over to the military’s advocate general, who will decide whether the officers or anyone else involved in the killings should receive further punishment or be prosecuted.

The killings were condemned by Israel’s closest allies and renewed criticism of Israel’s conduct in the nearly 6-month-old war with Hamas.

The aid workers were three British citizens, a Polish citizen, an Australian and a Canadian American dual citizen, all of whom worked for World Central Kitchen, the international charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés. Their Palestinian driver also was killed.