Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Human rights campaigners call on UN to investigate Gaza ‘war crimes’

Posted by claudiacampli su 16 marzo, 2009

Times

A group of human rights campaigners from around the world has called on the United Nations to investigate allegations that war crimes were committed by the Israeli military and Hamas during the war in Gaza earlier this year.

Led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson, the former Irish President and one-time head of the UN’s human rights agency, the authors of an open letter to the United Nations published today call for a “prompt, independent and impartial investigation [that] would provide a public record of gross violations of international humanitarian law committed and provide recommendations on how those responsible for crimes should be held to account”.

The 16 signatories, including some who have investigated war crimes from Darfur to the former Yugoslavia, say they were “shocked to the core” by the damage inflicted during Israel’s three-week offensive, which began at the end of December last year.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 1,434 Palestinians were killed in the combined air and ground offensives. They included 960 civilians, 239 police officers and 235 fighters. Thirteen Israelis died in the war, including three civilians killed by Hamas rockets.

Human rights groups have accused the Israeli army of using disproportionate force in its attempt to halt Hamas rockets being fired into Israel, and there have been allegations that Israeli troops used civilians as human shields, refused to allow medics access to the wounded and used white phosphorous, a napalm-like substance that is intended for use as a battlefield smokescreen, on civilian areas.

Hamas has been accused of committing war crimes by firing its rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas for years, and there have also been reports of its fighters carrying out summary executions of suspected collaborators.

The UN has already launched an investigation into attacks on its Gaza compounds, which included the alleged use of white phosphorous against a shelter and an Israeli artillery strike outside a school being used as a refugee shelter.

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