Israel Issues Mild ‘Reprimands’ to Commanders for Attacking UN Building

Israeli Military Insists Own Report Announcing Reprimands Isn't True

Israel’s objections to the assorted reports on the Gaza War are well-established in a myriad of angry comments from officials which continue to this day. Few expected, however, that the military would so quickly object to the Israeli government’s own report on the war.

The formal response to the Goldstone Report announced that two Israeli commanders, Brigadier General Eyal Eisenberg and Colonel Ilian Maika had “exceeded their authority” in a January 15, 2009 attack on the United Nations relief agency headquarters with white phosphorus munitions.

The two were both slated to receive formal reprimands, though officials said it was highly unlikely that the reprimands would do any harm to the career of either officer and would likely be forgotten after their next promotion.

Israeli artillery attacked the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) headquarters, causing injuries and burning storehouses containing several tons of food aid. The compound was full of civilians at the time of the attack.

Then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert defended the attack as “legitimate self defense,” and claimed the compound was full of militants, an allegation they later retracted.

The apparent reprimands are the first serious Israeli admission of official wrongdoing in the war. The military however, seems intent on continuing to deny the reprimands ever took place.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of