World Bulletin / News Desk
An Israeli soldier who killed two Palestinian women who waved a white flag during massive Gaza offensive will be jailed only for 45 days after reaching a plea bargain with the military advocate general.
The soldier, Staff Sgt. S', from Givati Brigade will be convicted of a relatively light offense - illegal use of weapons, an Israeli paper said.
The soldier was originally accused of killing a woman and daughter whose names were mentioned in the UN Goldstone Report. Ria Abu Hajaj, 64, and her daughter Majda, 37, were killed as they were waving a white flag on the first day of the Israel's ground operation in Gaza, on January 4, 2009.
S' has long since completed his army service. His attorneys claimed that there was no proven connection between his shooting and the death of the two women, and that the two events occurred in different times. They further argued that indicting a soldier for the killing of an anonymous victim, when no body was found, is questionable, and that many other soldiers also opened fire in the said event.
An army spokesperson verified the details this morning, and added that, following an arbitration process in the case and "after examining all the evidence and circumstances, and following the military court's recommendation, both sides reached a plea bargain that would see the indictment corrected to illegal use of weapons."
The Goldstone Report is a 575-page report that accused Israeli forces of war crimes during their conflict in Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009 that killed up to 1500 Palestinians.