Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the Israeli soldier who shot and killed a 64-year-old Palestinian woman and her daughter, 35, during Israel’s offensive against the Gaza Strip, 18 months ago, will be facing charges. The soldier is accused of violating the rules of engagement of the Israeli army. Chief Prosecutor of the Israeli Army, Avihai Mandelblit, is expected to hold a hearing this coming week to determine what charges would be brought against the soldier.

Haaretz reporter, Amira Hass, said that the soldier claimed to be firing at the legs of the mother and her daughter when he thought the lives of soldiers were at risk, and that he had no intention to kill them.

Eyewitnesses in Gaza said that on January 4, 2009, the soldier opened fire at a group of women waving white flags south of Gaza City.

The case gained more attention as it was mentioned in the report of Judge Richard Goldstone who was appointed by the United Nations to probe violations carried out during the war.

His report accused both Israel and Hamas of violating international law during the three-week war that started on December 27, 2008.

1,419 Palestinians, most of them civilians including infants, children, women, elderly and medics were killed while 13 Israelis, including eight soldiers were killed.

Nine Israelis were killed by Palestinian fire and shells during the war, 4 of the Israeli deaths were caused by Israeli ‘friendly fire”.

Israel refused to recognize the Goldstone Report and said that its own investigation revealed that the army acted according to the rules of engagement and did not violate International Law.

Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, claimed earlier this year that the Israeli army is one of a kind, and that it acts on professional and moral standards.