GENEVA -- A senior Israeli official says the army has opened criminal investigations into the deaths of 11 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire during protests along the Gaza border over the past year.
Israeli officials briefed journalists in Geneva on Wednesday to rebut allegations made in a U.N. human rights report last week alleging soldiers intentionally fired on civilians and could have committed crimes against humanity in violence that has killed 189 people and left more than 6,000 hurt by live ammunition.
The Israeli official says full-fledged criminal investigations in such cases are opened if "reasonable grounds" of suspicion of criminal misconduct are found. Critics say such investigations rarely result in prosecution of soldiers.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.