Yaniv Kubovich reported in "Haaretz" (2.4) that the attack in which seven workers of the " World Central Kitchen" (WCK ) aid organization in the Gaza Strip were killed, was carried out due to suspicion that an armed terrorist was travelling with the convoy. An UAV fired three missiles one after the other. Security sources told Kubovich that the repeated shooting was carried out even though the armed terrorist did not leave the area of the warehouse from which the convoy left and even though the vehicles in it were clearly marked as belonging to the organization, on the roof and on the sides. Two of the dead Palestinians had dual citizenship (USA and Canada) and the others were citizens of Australia, the UK and Poland.

While the world is shocked, and especially the countries whose citizens were killed are outraged, the IDF contented itself with an internal investigation by its Chief of Staff's investigation mechanism, and the investigation committed confirmed Kubovich's report. The results of the investigation so far, unless international pressure prevails, are an expression of regret, refinement of work procedures and dismissal of two IDF officers, without a criminal investigation being opened against anyone.

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that this was a "tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people in the Gaza Strip. This happens in war. We are investigating it to the end." The IDF's radio (Galei Tzahal) military issues reporter, Doron Kadosh, reported (2.4) that the IDF is establishing a joint war room for the Southern Command and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), "to improve the coordination between the attack headquarters and the management of humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip."

The horrifying incident and the response to it are not new, and are reminiscent of Israel's behavior in previous incidents. For example, when IDF soldiers occupied the Gaza Strip on June 5, 1967, they attacked a post and vehicles used by Indian soldiers in the UN force, killing 14 of them. The Government of Israel sent a letter to the Government of India expressing its sorrow over the incident and its condolences to the bereaved families. The letter explained that "during the artillery battles, the Indian unit and other UN units were in the immediate area of the battles and therefore the injuries were accidental and not intentional."

In a telegram distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Israeli embassies on June 15, 1967, they were asked to refute the accusations and respond that "the government of Israel rejects as unfounded any hints that the injuries among the Indian UN force were done on purpose. There can be no reason for such an action and there is no shred of proof for these accusations."

But from a review of the investigation conducted by the IDF, found in the file of the Israeli consulate in India which was recently opened to the public in the National State Archive, it does not appear that there was any genuine acceptance of responsibility and sorrow. The deputy head of the investigation department in the IDF blamed the Indian soldiers for their deaths and injuries and cleared the IDF soldiers of any responsibility. He wrote in his findings that the soldiers of the Indian UN force behaved in a hostile manner, that "Egyptian soldiers who were dressed in UN uniforms were hidden" in the UN post and that "it is difficult to recognize UN soldiers of Indian origin when they are without 'tarboosh' [traditional headwear] because of the color of their brown skin and their resemblance to Egyptian soldiers". He also found that "no soldier, including commanders, received a briefing regarding behavior with UN soldiers."

Five years after the "Six-Day War" (1967), the book "The Lions' Gate" was published, by former Chief of Staff Motta Gur and Israel Harel. In addition to documenting the battles in East Jerusalem, a significant part of the book is devoted to the moral dilemmas of the IDF soldiers in their encounter with the Palestinian civilian population, including a description of cases of looting and violence on the part of Israeli soldiers and civilians. One of the explanations offered in the book for this behavior is that there was no real discussion, treatment and lessons learned from the "War of Independence" (1948).

Likewise, the defining memory in Israel from the First Lebanon War (1982) and the establishment of the Israeli "Security Strip" in Lebanon until its withdrawal in 2000, is the massacre in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugees' camps. But the involvement of some IDF soldiers and officers in crimes elsewhere in Lebanon, either by themselves or through local militias that were armed and trained by Israel, is long forgotten.

Not only is there no correction, treatment and serious lessons learned from previous wars, the opportunity to do all this in "real time" was also missed during the last six months of the war in Gaza. This is despite the fact that there has already been a chain of suspicious incidents were damage was caused to civilians and civilian buildings, some of which were documented by the IDF soldiers themselves on social media.

The Military Advocate General (“MAG”) unit never liked to enforce justice on soldiers, and the political campaign that was conducted against it due to the prosecution of the soldier Elor Azaria on charges of manslaughter, loosened its already weak hands. After a long period of silence, on February 21, 2024, the Chief Military Advocate, General Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, sent a letter to IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip in which she warned against "incidents that cross the criminal threshold" in the war and noted that "besides fighting bravely, we also encountered improper cases that go beyond the standards of the IDF". Amir Bohbot reported in "Walla!" (February 22) that " Soldiers are angry about the Chief Military Advocate's letter: feels like a slap in the face."

So far, half a year after the outbreak of the war, there is no information of any criminal investigation that has been opened or of a single indictment that has been filed. It is likely that summoning soldiers for a criminal investigation would have already been leaked to the media. If Tomer-Yerushalmi wanted to enforce the law, she should have simply enforced it instead of distributing a letter that seems to be mainly intended for the media and for the hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Even if the findings of the internal investigation carried out by the IDF are correct, and the unit that activated the drone and killed the seven employees of the WCK only made a regrettable mistake and violated the rules of engagement, but did not violate the criminal law - the unit still operated in a certain "organizational culture" in which it is rare to take or impose responsibility for harming innocent civilians.

It is impossible to know if the tragic incident would have been avoided if the Military Advocate General unit had opened criminal investigations and filed indictments for previous incidents during the current war in Gaza, but perhaps then the soldiers in the unit would have thought ten times before "pulling the trigger" on the drone three times against WCK's convoy.

If reports of the loss of civilian life in the current war in Gaza and in general in operational activities of the IDF, both in wars and routine, are usually ignored by the governments of Israel, the IDF, the Military Advocate General unit and most of the Israeli media, and in the "best case" are only defined as a "sad mistake" that leads to an internal investigation in the IDF without a criminal investigation - it is likely that more innocent civilians will be killed.