Israel dismisses settler demand for probe of ex-soldiers

Israel says no grounds for settler demand to investigate former soldiers critical of policies toward Palestinians

JERUSALEM -- Israeli authorities say there're no grounds to investigate a group of former soldiers critical of the country's occupation of Palestinian-claimed territories.

The state attorney's office says no evidence was found to substantiate the accusations by a settler group that members of Breaking the Silence collected and published classified information or encouraged soldiers to commit espionage.

After Wednesday's announcement, Avner Gvaryahu, the group's leader, said "the truth has come to light."

Israeli critics say the group is funded from abroad by those seeking to shame Israel by targeting its most hallowed institution, the military, through testimonies aimed at foreign audiences rather than debated domestically.