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JAFFA, Israel - An Israeli soldier accused of killing two women waving white flags during the




A story of white-phosphors and white flags
First case of Israeli soldier being prosecuted for deliberately killing civilians during war on Gaza.

2008-2009 Gaza war on Sunday heard the charges against him at a military court near Tel Aviv, the military said.

The brief indictment hearing was held in Jaffa, a spokeswoman said without giving further details.

The soldier, a sniper who has not been named, is facing manslaughter charges for allegedly shooting dead the two unarmed Palestinian women.

It will be the first case of a soldier being prosecuted for killing civilians during the 22-day war, which broke out on December 27, 2008.

Israeli rights group B'Tselem said the incident occurred on January 4, 2009, when the Abu Hajaj family evacuated their home after it was hit by a tank shell.

Last month, the Military Advocate General decided to charge the soldier with manslaughter "based on evidence that the soldier, who was serving as a designated marksman, deliberately targeted an individual walking with a group of people waving a white flag without being ordered or authorised to do so."

The massive offensive, launched in an attempt to stop rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, left around 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

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