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Israeli Officers Reprimanded for Palestinian Deaths

Israel's military chief has reprimanded two senior officers for separate shooting incidents in the West Bank last month that resulted in the deaths of four Palestinians.

Defense Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi said Tuesday the incidents could have been avoided if the situation had been handled differently.

The incidents happened over a two-day span in March. In the first one, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian youths in the village of Iraq Burin during a violent protest. A day later, troops shot and killed two other young Palestinians, believing they were about to stage an attack.

Ashkenazi's reprimand was directed at an Israeli colonel and lieutenant colonel. He also demoted a first sergeant, saying he would no longer serve as a commander.

An internal Israeli investigation released earlier this month concluded that the Palestinian deaths were preventable. The report said the way Israeli commanders deployed their soldiers created unnecessary risks, and that the troops could have operated in a more professional manner.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.