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Israel to investigate airstrike on Gaza family

Israel's military ordered a criminal investigation of one of its deadliest airstrikes in last summer's war in the Gaza Strip - an attack that killed 24 members of one family, most of them children.

The probe was one of eight criminal investigations announced at the weekend, bringing the total of such probes to 13. The other new cases include suspected looting, the killing of two ambulance drivers and the killing of a Gaza man carrying a white flag.

The military said it closed seven other cases of alleged wrongdoing by troops after an internal review, while 85 incidents are still being examined.

Israeli human rights groups have demanded an independent investigation of the 50-day war.


One of the newly announced investigations focuses on a July 20 airstrike on the home of the Abu Jamea family in which 23 family members died, 18 of which were children between six months and nine years old.

The apparent target was Ahmed Sahmoud, a local Hamas commander who was killed in the strike. The family has not said what connection it had to him.

The military said that there was "reasonable suspicion" the strike violated army rules.

More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed in the war, most civilians, according to UN figures. The army says up to half were militants. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and six civilians were killed.