Human rights groups denounce Israel for dismissing Samouni family massacre case

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights on Wednesday blasted an Israeli military court decision to close the Samouni family massacre case, in which more than 20 members of the Samouni family were killed after Israel bombed their house during the 2008-2009 assault on Gaza. Israel announced on Wednesday that the massacre was not a war crime and the family had not been targeted intentionally.

The killing occurred during the assault on Gaza, and was denounced by Richard Goldstone as a war crime in his now-famous report on Palestine. On January 4, 2009, Israeli soldiers ordered around 100 civilians to enter the house and stay there until further notice. While they were in the house, Israeli shells hit the house, which collapsed, killing over 20 members of the Samouni family, including over 11 children.

The rights group, outraged over the ruling, argued that the decision reflected consistent “flaws” in the Israeli system.  They called the massacre ”one of the most horrific single events” during the course of Israel’s assault, and said it included “the willful killing of 27 civilians.” It added: “The decision to close the Samouni family case clearly indicates Israel’s genuine unwillingness to uphold the rule of international law.”

An Israeli rights groups B’Tselem called the decision “unacceptable.” Below is a gallery of images from the attack.

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