Last update - 16:20 14/12/2006
By Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent
The High Court of Justice on Thursday ruled to open a criminal probe into the 2004 death of a Palestinian girl in the Gaza Strip shot by Israel Defense Forces soldiers, to determine whether illegal orders were given to open fire.
The parents of the girl, 13-year-old Iman Darweesh al-Hams of Rafah, filed a petition to the court claiming that her killing constitutes a war crime.
A Givati Brigade officer charged in the affair was acquittted last year and awarded NIS 80,000 in compensation in addition to a reimbursement for NIS 2,000 of legal expenses.
The officer, Captain "R.," was suspected of "confirming the kill" and shooting the girl multiple times once she had already been hit by IDF gunfire and was lying on the ground.
He was cleared of all charges when Givati Brigade soldiers from R.'s company said they lied during the military probe of the incident and in statements they provided the court in an effort the cause the ousting of R. from the company.
The girl's father Samir reacted with anger and shock to Captain R.'s acquittal when the verdict was issued last year. "I am a teacher and I object to the killing of Jewish or Arab children under any circumstances, but the court has proven there is one law for Jews and another for Arabs," he said.
IDF court acquits officer accused of 'confirming kill' of Gaza girl (November 2005)
IDF officer cleared in death of Gaza girl to receive compensation from state