A military inquiry into the deaths of four Palestinians in recent West Bank clashes resulted in official notations in the service records of both Shomron Brigade Commander Colonel Itzik Bar and the Nahshon Battalion commander.
The inquest, ordered by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, investigated two separate clashes: One which took place at the West Bank village of Iraq-Burin, and one which occurred near the West Bank village of Awarta. Two Palestinians were killed in each clash.
A GCO Central Command investigation ruled that in both incidents, the Palestinians were shot due to failures in IDF deployment and tactical errors by the forces on the ground.
The IDF chief's investigation drew similar conclusions, ruling that both events could have ended differently and that their dire results could have been avoided. Ashkenazi summoned Bar and the Nahshon Battalion commander to hearings, which resulted in a notation in their service records.
The Iraq-Burin clash is still under Military Police investigation. The army has yet to ascertain how the two Palestinians were killed. The deputy battalion commander claimed his forces used only rubber-coated bullets, but the two Palestinians were shot by live rounds.
As for the Awarta incident, Ashkenazi ruled that while the shooting soldier's subjective perception of imminent threat cannot be ignored, military commanders must prepare their troops for missions in a manner which will allow them to avoid unwanted operational situations.
Ashkenazi ordered the soldier in question be reassigned and that his direct commander, a lieutenant, also receive an official notation in his service records.