The Israeli military has decided to end, without issuing criminal charges, an investigation into the deaths of four Palestinians children ages nine and 11 on a Gazan beach in Gaza during Israel’s bombing last summer.

According to a statement released Thursday night by a spokesman of the armed forces contained in the report of the military prosecution, Israeli aircraft fired missiles at the boys because they were “confused” with gunmen in an area “exclusively used by militants”.

Witnesses and journalists who were in the area on July 16, 2014, when the incident occurred, claimed that children were playing football on the beach.

“The figures that were observed before the attack were not identified at any time as children,” says the Israeli military report.

“Following the necessary approvals, it was decided to launch the air strikes after it had been ruled out the presence of civilians in the area.”

Gaza beach, which is close to several hotels where foreign journalists were covering the conflict, was one of the places that suffered during Israel’s murderous campaign in 2014, when thousands of innocent Gazan people were killed indiscriminately.

“After reviewing the investigation, the military attorney general believes that the attack was a tragic mistake, but was carried out in accordance with Israeli and international law”, the statement said.

The statement also added that another case, in which 9 people died in a Café on July 9, is still open and pending further investigation. Those people were also victims of an Israeli bombing.

Two other separate investigations that were being performed by the Israeli military prosecutor about an air strike on a residential neighborhood in Gaza City on 21 July, in which 15 people were killed, and eight days after the bombing of Khan Yunis, a town in the Gaza Strip where several members of a family were killed, have also been closed, as it is the norm in open cases on the Palestinian conflict by military justice of the Jewish state.

The strongest action by an Israeli prosecutor was carried out last April against three Israeli soldiers who were prosecuted for committing looting during the 2014 Gaza war.

The 2014 conflict in Gaza cost the lives of some 2,200 Palestinians, of whom 1,500 were innocent civilians -according to the United Nations- and 73 were Israelis, of which 67 were military.

The UN plans to go public later this month with the findings of an investigation opened into the events during the conflict in Gaza last summer. Palestinian officials have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open proceedings to determine whether war crimes occurred. ICC officials are scheduled to travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories this month to gather information on the ground.

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