Israel must investigate Gaza war crimes charges: US envoy
Israel must investigate any violation of international law by its army during its three-week war in the Gaza Strip, the new U.S. envoy to UN said.
Israel must investigate any violation of international law by its army during its three-week war in the Gaza Strip, the new U.S. envoy to the United Nations said on Thursday.
"We expect Israel will meet its international obligations to investigate and we also call upon all members of the international community to refrain from politicizing these important issues," Ambassador Susan Rice said in her debut speech before the U.N. Security Council.
Israeli massive offensive killed more than 1,300 Palestinians, a third of them children, in Gaza, said Hamas-run Health Ministry in the territory. Israel put its losses at 10 soldiers and three civilians.
During the campaign, Israel fired on several U.N. installations in Gaza, including schools, where hundreds of Palestinians had been seeking shelter from the fighting. But Israel rejects allegations that its army was guilty of war crimes.
"There have been numerous allegations made against Israel some of which are deliberately designed to inflame," she told the council during a meeting on international humanitarian law.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said there would also be a U.N. investigation of the deadly attacks on United Nations sites in the Gaza Strip.
"The United Nations is indispensable for advancing these goals and making our world a better, safer place," she said.
She also hinted that Obama had a different attitude towards The Hague-based International Criminal Court, the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal.
President Bill Clinton's administration had signed the ICC treaty, which was never ratified by Congress. Bush later rejected the idea of ever joining the court.
Reuters Last Mod: 30 Ocak 2009, 15:46