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Israel legislature adopts measure to pardon 400 protesters of 2005 Gaza disengagement

[JURIST] Israel's Knesset [official website, in Hebrew] approved legislation on Monday to grant immunity to approximately 400 protesters involved in violent protests in connection with the 2005 removal [JURIST report] of settlers in the Gaza Strip [JURIST news archive]. The amnesty measure, which passed by a vote of 51-9 [Haaretz report], does not extend immunity to people who committed acts that endangered human life, but rather mainly affects approximately 400 teenagers who were charged with committing minor criminal infractions. This is the third general amnesty measure issued by Israel. The first was issued was in 1949, after the War of Independence, and the second was issued in 1967, after the Six-Day War.

The tenuous relations between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza have been under international scrutiny lately in light of more recent conflicts. Earlier this month, Israeli military officers cancelled a planned trip [JURIST report] to the UK for fear they would be arrested on charges of war crimes for their involvement in last winter's Operation Cast Lead [Global Security Backgrounder] in the Gaza Strip. In November, the UN adopted [JURIST report] a resolution requiring independent investigations into Operation Cast Lead. According to the UN report [text], both Israel and Palestine committed war crimes [JURIST report].

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