Related Rule
Israel
Practice Relating to Rule 158. Prosecution of War Crimes
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
The rules of warfare are binding upon every soldier in the IDF [Israel Defense Forces]. The rules of military jurisdiction contain several provisions that define breaches of the rules of warfare as military offences that can be prosecuted in a court of law. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 11.
The manual also states: “The State of Israel will not lend a hand to the commission of war crimes by Israelis and will bring to trial in Israel any Israeli who might, Heaven forbid, have committed a war crime.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 42.
The manual further states:
The State of Israel does not perpetrate war crimes and its acts are covered by routine legal advice. If any Israeli soldier commits any of the crimes addressed by the [1998 ICC] Statute, Israel itself will put him on trial. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 47.
In addition, the manual states: “Commanding officers and men may stand trial if, in breach of their obligations, they have been involved in war crimes.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 49.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Israel’s Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law (1950) provides for the punishment of:
(a) a person who has committed one of the following offences –
(1) done, during the period of the Nazi régime, in an enemy country, an act constituting a crime against the Jewish people;
(2) done, during the period of the Nazi régime, in an enemy country, an act constituting a crime against humanity;
(3) done, during the period of the Second World War, in an enemy country, an act constituting a war crime. 
Israel, Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 1950, Section 1(a).
In the Eichmann case in 1961, Israel’s District of Court of Jerusalem rejected arguments that the acts of which Eichmann was accused constituted acts of State for which Germany alone was responsible. The Court held that the repudiation of the doctrine of act of State was one of the principles of international law acknowledged by the IMT Charter and Judgment in Nuremberg as well as by the UN General Assembly in Resolution 96(I). 
Israel, District Court of Jerusalem, Eichmann case, Judgment, 12 December 1961.
The Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision, holding, inter alia, that there was no scope for the application of the doctrine in respect of acts prohibited by the law of nations, and especially with regard to international crimes. 
Israel, Supreme Court, Eichmann case, Judgment, 29 May 1962.
In its judgment in the Public Committee against Torture in Israel case in 2006, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated: “[P]risoners of war are not to be put on criminal trial for their very participation in combat … They can of course be tried for war crimes which they committed during the hostilities.” 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Public Committee against Torture in Israel case, Judgment, 14 December 2006, § 23.
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
209. … Israel’s commitment to the rule of law with respect to the Gaza Operation is safeguarded by the extensive mechanisms it has in place, both within the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] and outside it, to investigate alleged violations of the rules and ensure accountability for any such violations, should they occur.
283. … Israel is committed to fully investigating alleged violations of Israel’s legal obligations (including the Law of Armed Conflict), and to taking appropriate and effective action, including penalising IDF commanders or soldiers found to have committed offences. …
294. A significant development in the investigation of alleged wrongdoing by IDF soldiers was the establishment, in October 2007, of the Office of the Military Advocate for Operational Affairs. This office is charged with investigating cases of operational misconduct by IDF soldiers against Palestinian civilians, such as mistreatment of prisoners, pillaging or theft, use of unnecessary force, abuse of authority etc. This special military prosecution unit was established and funded to enable the Military Prosecution to deal effectively and efficiently with these offences, in light of their importance and the added value of expertise gained by transferring these cases from regional offices of the prosecution to a special unit dedicated to their investigation. It also allows the automatic opening of criminal investigations in all such cases, on the premise that these specific crimes can never be justified by military necessity.
312. … Israel recognises that all allegations regarding violations of international law in Gaza by any party, for which there is reliable information, must be thoroughly investigated, and where appropriate, prosecuted. The IDF therefore initiated a series of field investigations into allegations regarding its conduct. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, §§ 209, 283, 294 and 312.
In 2009, in its initial response to the Report of the Fact Finding Mission on Gaza (“Goldstone Report”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
The Report makes sweeping condemnations about the Israeli system of investigation and prosecution, concluding that it does not comply with international standards of impartiality and independence. … The criticism rests on the supposed “fatal flaw” that the system includes, at the outset, “operational debriefings” through internal IDF [Israel Defense Forces] field investigations. But field investigations are common to most major militaries in the world, and indeed are necessary to apply the proper legal standards, which require a determination of what was known to commanders and soldiers at the time of an incident, regarding targets, available weapons systems, and risks of civilian casualties. …
The results of field investigations are reviewed in the first instance by the Military Advocate General, which is independent from the IDF command hierarchy. Decisions of the Military Advocate General regarding the opening or non-opening of criminal investigations connected to the operation in Gaza, as well as all decisions regarding the filing or non-filing of indictments, are subject to review by the Attorney General. Further, complainants or non-governmental organizations who are dissatisfied with a decision of the Military Advocate General or the Attorney General may petition directly to Israel’s Supreme Court. The Supreme Court allows direct access to Israelis and Palestinians to petition for judicial review of decisions of the Israeli Government and military officials, including the decision whether to open a criminal investigation in a specific case. …
… [T]the Military Advocate General is now awaiting the findings of field investigations into forty incidents involving deaths or injuries to civilians, and there are twenty three additional Military Police criminal investigations currently in process. These include investigations of incidents involving the alleged shooting of civilians carrying white flags and alleged use of civilians as human shields. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Initial Response to the Report of the Fact Finding Mission on Gaza, 24 September 2009, § 27.
In January 2010, in an update of its July 2009 report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
10. … When violations of those [Law of Armed Conflict] principles are suspected, the Israeli justice system is designed not only to mete out punishment and deter future violations but also to provide the opportunity for redress to parties injured by state offences. The lawlessness of an adversary, or the severity of the threat they pose, is not and cannot be an excuse for unlawful or improper conduct.
18. The Military Advocate General’s dual enforcement and advisory responsibilities parallel those of chief military lawyers in other countries, such as the United Kingdom. The units within the Military Advocate General’s Corps that issue legal guidance to the IDF and that examine and prosecute alleged crimes by IDF forces are separate from one another. The latter function of the Military Advocate General’s Corps is conducted by the Chief Military Prosecutor, Military Advocates (who head regional and other prosecution units), and military prosecutors (collectively, “the military prosecution”).
19. The military justice system empowers the Military Advocate General, the Chief Military Prosecutor, and the Military Advocates to direct the prosecution of soldiers for military offences identified in the Military Justice Law (such as absence without leave, conduct unbecoming an officer, and pillage), as well as criminal offences under Israel’s general Penal Law. When the evidence establishes a reasonable likelihood that a crime or infraction has been committed, a Military Advocate may order a prosecutor to file an indictment in the Military Courts or order a commander to hold a disciplinary hearing. Like any criminal proceeding, this process requires military prosecutors to examine the evidence carefully and to file an indictment only if there is sufficient evidence.
20. In 2007, the Military Advocate General established a specialized unit within the military prosecution, the Office of the Military Advocate for Operational Affairs, to oversee all investigations and to conduct all prosecutions of alleged operational misconduct – particularly, alleged misconduct by IDF soldiers against Palestinian civilians during military operations. The mandate of the Office includes investigation and prosecution of alleged violations of the Law of Armed Conflict. The prosecutors assigned specifically to the Office have special training and expertise to address the unique difficulties in investigating and trying these kinds of cases. When necessary, prosecutors from other units supplement this unit.
31. The decision of the Military Advocate General whether or not to open a criminal investigation, as well as his decision whether or not to file an indictment, may be subject to further review by the Attorney General of the State of Israel, an independent figure of high authority.
34. … [T]he Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, can review and reverse a decision of the Military Advocate General, the military prosecution, and/or the Attorney General whether to investigate or file a criminal indictment concerning alleged misconduct by soldiers.
38. … [T]he [Supreme] Court has enforced the obligation of the state and the IDF to abide by applicable law (including international law) and humanitarian standards, notwithstanding the reality and constant threat of terrorist attacks.
41. The consistent policy of the IDF has been to investigate alleged violations of the Law of Armed Conflict, regardless of the source of the allegations, and to prosecute where there is credible evidence that a violation has occurred. This policy reflects a commitment to resolve complaints against IDF personnel fairly, impartially, and effectively. Israel’s Attorney General has affirmed this policy and it has been presented to the High Court of Justice for review.
53. … The Military Advocate General and the military prosecution have full authority to initiate, and do initiate, direct criminal investigations of those complaints alleging conduct that is clearly criminal in nature. … With respect to other complaints, those that are first subject to command investigations, there is no requirement that the Military Advocate General or military prosecution await a final report from the command investigator before making a criminal referral. At any point when there is a reasonable suspicion of criminal misconduct, the military prosecution may launch a criminal investigation.
72. International law does not indicate the precise manner or pace at which a state should investigate alleged violations of the Law of Armed Conflict. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gaza Operation Investigations: An Update, 29 January 2010, §§ 10, 18–20, 31, 34, 38, 41, 53 and 72.
[footnotes in original omitted]
In 2010, in a position paper submitted to the Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31 May 2010 (the Turkel Commission), established by the Israeli Government to examine the Gaza flotilla incident, Israel’s Military Advocate General stated:
The duty to investigate prima facie breaches of the law of armed conflict stems, primarily, from the general duty of every state to respect and ensure respect of this law, as determined in the provision of common Article 1 of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 (hereinafter: The Geneva Conventions). That general duty compliments the specific duty of enforcement of the law of armed conflict and of repression or suppression of its breach; beside it is an additional specific duty to act in order to prosecute those who have committed “grave breaches” of the law of armed conflict.
… [T]he duty to prosecute those who have committed “grave breaches” of the law of armed conflict is not limited merely to the citizens and soldiers of the same party to the conflict, nor does it apply only to the parties to the conflict, but rather applies to every state, and regarding every person in its territory who appears to have committed a grave breach. On the other hand, the duty does not arise regarding every prima facie breach of one of the provisions of the Geneva Conventions or of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977 (hereinafter: The First Protocol), but rather only to those cases of “grave breaches.” These are defined in each of the Geneva Conventions, in accordance with the subject which it arranges, in the Article following the one that entrenches the duty to investigate; as well as a number of Articles in the First Protocol. Note that the lions share of these “grave breaches” constitutes the accepted basis of the concept of “war crimes.”
Derived from the combination of the duty to ensure respect of the law of armed conflict, the duty to suppress or repress breaches and the duty to locate and prosecute “grave breaches”, as described above, is the duty to investigate prima facie breaches of the law of armed conflict. …
… [T]he question of the classification of the armed conflict between the State of Israel and the Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Judea and Samaria area and the Gaza strip, and particularly between it and the Hamas regime in the strip, was surveyed at length, and the conclusion was that decision of this complicated question is not necessary, as the State of Israel implements, de facto, the rules that apply to an international armed conflict and an armed conflict which is not international. That is also the situation regarding the duty to investigate.
As mentioned above, within the framework of the duty of a party to an armed conflict to bring those who commit war crimes to trial, it must investigate prima facie breaches of the law of armed conflict in its territory; however, whereas the personal and substantive scope of the duty to investigate is defined in light of the characteristics of the duty to prosecute, the various articles in which the latter duty is entrenched do not in any way state the way in which it should be implemented, in other words, the way in which the investigation is to be conducted.
A certain indication of the way that the duty to investigate should be implemented can be found in the fact that according to the Geneva Convention, the duty to prosecute war crimes applies identically both to the state in which the crimes were committed, the state whose citizens committed the crimes, and any other state in which a person suspected of war crimes is found. The Geneva Conventions do not determine a different standard for prosecution of such suspects according to the extent of the link between the state and the crimes which were committed. Accordingly, it seems that the duty to investigate – which is derived from the duty to prosecute – should be implemented identically by the states wishing to act to enforce the law of armed conflict. And, indeed, the official interpretation of the Geneva Conventions instructs that proceedings taking place in state courts in order to prosecute suspects of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions shall be run in a uniform way, whatever the citizenship of the accused may be. The interpretation further notes that the duty to investigate is a positive duty, such that a state that knows of the location of a person who has committed a grave breach in its territory is required to act of its own initiative, even without any request by another state, in order to ensure that he is arrested and prosecuted as quickly as possible.
Beyond those general instructions, it appears that the law of armed conflict allows the state great flexibility regarding the fashion in which the duty to investigate prima facie breaches of the law of armed conflict is implemented. …
… [T] the duty to investigate stems from the duty to identify and prosecute war criminals; and thus, the purpose of the investigation is to locate persons suspect of breaches of the law of armed conflict and prosecute them. Thus, it can be said that the investigation visualized by the law of armed conflict is essentially a criminal one.
Support for that conclusion, that the duty to investigate according to the law of armed conflict does not arise due to the causing of a certain result (including the death of persons who are known to be civilians) unless there are concrete circumstances, can be found, primarily, in state practice in the area of investigations of prima facie breaches of the law of armed conflict …
… [N]ote that, in a situation of armed conflict, there are cases in which the occurrence of a certain result indicates, in and of itself, that the act that caused it was a prima facie breach of the law of armed conflict, such that its very occurrence requires investigation. These are events that cannot be justified as having been a part of legitimate combat activity, such as those dealing with prima facie breaches of absolute prohibitions in the law of armed conflict. 
Israel, position paper by the Military Advocate General on investigating allegations of violations of IHL, submitted to The Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31 May 2010 (the Turkel Commission), 19 December 2010, Part B.
[emphasis in original; footnotes in original omitted]