Israel breaks int'l law with disproportionate strikes: EU aid chief

"The first obligation is that an occupying power has the obligation to preserve the life of populations, to protect them, to nourish them and to care for them," said EU aid commissioner.

Israel breaks int'l law with disproportionate strikes: EU aid chief

Israel's military strikes in the Gaza Strip were disproportionate and breach international law, the European Union's aid chief was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

In some of the toughest criticism by an EU official since Israel began an 18-day offensive that has killed more than 900 Palestinians, EU Aid Commissioner Louis Michel said the Jewish state's attacks to Gaza were "totally disproportionate".

"The evidence, which experts agree on and denounce, shows that Israel is not respecting international human rights laws," the EU's Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel told the Belgian daily La Libre Belgique.

"One simple fact, acknowledged and denounced by established experts in the field, is that Israel is not respecting international humanitarian law," Michel told Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique in an interview published on Tuesday.

"The first obligation is that an occupying power has the obligation to preserve the life of populations, to protect them, to nourish them and to care for them. That is manifestly not the case here," said Michel.

The comments came as the Israeli army embarked on the 18th day of its offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The fighting has left more than 900 dead including significant numbers of Palestinian women and children.

"It's even more difficult to accept when it comes from a democracy," the Belgian EU commissioner said.

"We must be careful not to use instruments which could boost one of the two parties, the idea that we are not capable of a balanced approach," he added.

Agencies
Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2009, 09:00
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