World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Israeli Attack On Beit Hanoun A Possible War Crime

Israeli Attack On Beit Hanoun A Possible War Crime – Head Of UN-Backed Probe

New York, Sep 18 2008 5:10PM

Israel’s shelling of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip in November 2006, which killed 19 Palestinian civilians, may constitute a war crime, the head of the United Nations-backed investigation into the incident said today.

The attack “took lives, inflicted horrendous physical and mental injuries, tore families apart, destroyed homes, took away livelihoods and traumatized a population,” Archbishop Desmond Tutu told reporters in Geneva, after presenting the final report of the high-level fact-finding mission set up by the UN Human Rights Council.

The mission, which was able to travel to Beit Hanoun in May this year through Egypt after 14 months of trying to gain entry through Israel, also included Professor Christine Chinkin of the London School of Economics.

During their visit to Gaza, the team spoke to a range of people, including survivors, Government officials, staff from the UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as former Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyah and other members of Hamas.

“The story of the Beit Hanoun shelling is, if anything, a story of the failure of the rule of law,” Mr. Tutu said. “Nineteen civilians [including seven children] were killed and many more injured yet no verifiable explanation has been offered, no independent, impartial and transparent investigation has been held, no one has been held to account. The Israeli military has admitted responsibility for the attack but claimed a technological error, noted Mr. Tutu.

“Faced with this absence of a well-founded explanation from the Israeli military, the mission has to conclude that there is a possibility that the shelling of Beit Hanoun constituted a war crime,” he stated.

“Accountability involves providing a remedy and redress for victims,” he added. “To date, neither has been forthcoming from Israel, despite its admission of responsibility for the attack.”

The report also noted that the shelling of Beit Hanoun took place in the context of the firing of rockets towards Israeli civilians by Palestinian militants. Noting that accountability is “a two-way street,” Mr. Tutu said Hamas has a legal obligation to respect international humanitarian law prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

The team stressed the need to have an independent, impartial investigation to establish the facts of the incident. “War crimes are very serious charges and require a great deal of detailed evidence collecting and determination of the legal situation against the factual situation,” noted Professor Chinkin.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC