World Bulletin / News Desk
A U.N. investigator condemned an Israeli court on Thursday for clearing the military of blame for the killing of American activist crushed by an army bulldozer, calling it a "victory for impunity".
The ruling handed down on Tuesday on the civil suit brought by the family of Rachel Corrie was part of a pattern of decisions exonerating Israeli military actions and political leaders, said Richard Falk, United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.
"The judge's decision represents a defeat for justice and accountability, and a victory for impunity for the Israeli military," Falk said in a statement issued in Geneva.
Corrie's family accused Israel of intentionally and unlawfully killing their 23-year-old daughter in March 2003, launching a civil case in the northern city of Haifa after a military investigation found the army was not responsible.
Corrie had joined activists trying to stop the Israeli army from demolishing Palestinian homes in the southern Gaza town of Rafah during a Palestinian uprising. The family has said it will appeal the ruling.
Judge Oded Gershon invoked a clause that absolved the army because the incident had happened during a wartime situation.
But Falk said that the decision "flies directly in the face of the Geneva Conventions, which impose on an occupying power an unconditional obligation to protect the civilian population".
As an aid worker, Corrie was entitled to protection by occupying forces and the house demolition appeared to violate the pact's prohibition on targeting civilian property, he said.
"This is a sad outcome, above all for the Corrie family ... but also for the rule of law and the hope that an Israeli court would place limits on the violence of the state, particularly in relation to innocent and unarmed civilians in an occupied territory," he said.
Falk, an American expert on international law serving as an independent U.N. expert since 2008, is a vocal critic of Israel, accusing it of crimes against humanity for its blockade of Gaza.
Falk, who is Jewish, was detained and turned back from Israel in 2008, forcing him to abort a planned mission to Gaza - a deportation denounced by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Suriname's President Desi Bouterse is weighing his chance that Monday general elections to choose the South American country's next Parliament will keep him and his party in power for another five years.
A prison riot in Bahia, Brazil has left 8 people dead. The prison riot was reportedly triggered by inter-gang tensions
Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece have signed a trilateral agreement to establish a real-time information center dealing with border police, immigration and law enforcement.
Gilad Erdan, a senior Likud Party member has been names as the public security minister.
Libyan tribes have asked Egypt to provide weapons for defence for the Tobruk-based army.
Nigeria's oil companies have come to an agreement with the government and will release fuel within the next six hours easing the oil crisis in the African country.
Congolese soldier have clashed with Rwandan Hutu forces in east DRC as talks of transferring rebel forces from one camp to another have fallen apart.
An Air France flight from Paris has been escorted by US fighter jets to New York's JFK airport.
A gunman has take two people hostage in northeast Ukraine.
Nigerian authorities have said that around 29 fighters have been killed including a foreign Boko Haram commander.
The Israeli Public Prosecutor has called for a 14-month prison sentence for the Dr Aziz Dwait, the Palestinian parliament speaker.
The Baghdad-Kirkuk Highway has reopened. It had been closed since early March due to ISIL threats.
The parliament of Tajikistan has approved a Tajik-Chinese agreement on the extradition of suspected criminals.
Kenya's anti corruption commission has put forward two government ministers who should be charged with abuse of office.
Since the early hours of the morning, protesters blocked roads citywide to deter commuters.
October 25 has been selected as the date for the election of a new president and parliament for Tanzania.