Gaza Ruins War crimes israel
Palestinian women walk near the ruins of houses, which witnesses said were destroyed by Israeli shelling during the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the east of Gaza CityReuters

Israel will investigate the deaths of two Bedouin women during the Gaza war after a report by Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence and a probe inside the Strip by IBTimes UK.

The deaths of Hakema Abu Adwan, 66, and Nadjah Abu Adwan, 47, was first documented by soldiers in the report in early May, when it was claimed the sisters were shot dead on 22 July by Israeli forces who then listed them as terrorists despite knowing that they were civilians.

In the Breaking The Silence report – which collated first-hand accounts by Israeli soldiers involved in the 50-day war in Gaza in 2014 – a soldier who was there described the order to shoot as "b******t" and said it was clear the women were not militants.

"[A drone] saw them with phones, talking, walking. They directed fire there... and they were killed. After they were implicated, I had a feeling it was b******t," the soldier said.

"After that the [...] three tanks went to check [the bodies]. It was two women, over the age of 30. They were unarmed. [...] They were listed as terrorists. They were fired at – so of course, they must have been terrorists."

An IBTimes UK investigation inside Gaza confirmed from family members at the Abu Adwan family home in a dirt poor Bedouin encampment near the southern city of Khan Younis that the sisters had been trying to leave their home when they were shelled by Israeli forces.

"Hakema was cut to pieces. Nadjah received a number of bullets, one in the neck, and one in the stomach. I believe Hakema was hit by a missile directly because at the end of the day we only managed to collect half of her body, we couldn't find her leg," Ezzat, a cousin who found the bodies, said.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has now told IBTimes UK it had been unaware of the specific deaths and following the investigation it would now pursue the case.

"The Breaking The Silence reports were anonymous and light on details, making a serious investigation difficult. Nevertheless, attempts are being made to investigate several of the incidents mentioned in the report," a spokesman said.

"The details mentioned regarding the incident in the orchard were not known to the IDF. As a result of the inquiries made and more details being made known, the incident will now be transferred to the FFA for investigation."

The FFA is a Fact-Finding and Assessment mechanism and is the first step towards a criminal investigation by the military police.

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Nada Abu Adwan who was with her sisters when they were allegedly killed by Israeli shellingKate Shuttleworth/IBTimes UK