UN chief not clear if Gaza war probes 'credible'

UN chief Ban said he could not determine whether Israel and the Palestinians have met UN demands to carry out credible, independent investigations of alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

UN chief not clear if Gaza war probes 'credible'

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he could not determine whether Israel and the Palestinians have met UN demands to carry out credible, independent investigations of alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

He made the assessment in a report to the General Assembly which had given both sides until today to conduct independent probes after a UN inquiry panel accused both Israel and Palestinian fighters of war crimes during the 22-day conflict in the Gaza Strip more than a year ago.

“No determination can be made on the implementation of the (UN) resolution by the parties concerned,” the UN boss said in his report that contains responses provided by Israel and the Palestinians.

"Responses"

Hamas said three Israeli civilians killed in rocket attacks by its members during Israel's Gaza offensive last year were hit by mistake.

The Goldstone report criticizes hasrhly Israel in last year's Dec. 27-Jan. 18 conflict, which killed up to 1,434 Palestinians, a third of them were children. 13 Israelis, including the three civilians in question died in the Israeli war in Gaza.

Israel admitted it used banned weapons in a response to a UN report over artillery shelling in a heavily populated area that hit a United Nations compound during the offensive.

The military has disciplined "two high-ranking officers" for approving the use of white phosphorous shells during the Gaza offensive last year.

However, Human rights groups accuse Israel of being a systematic, random and wide-ranging use of the chemical.

Analysts say, whereas, the Israeli report just focuses on only isolated incident and two individuals being disciplined, ignoring that hundreds of people in Gaza were burned by white phosphorous during that military campaign a year ago.

Israel also bombed hospitals, schools, mosques and government buildings and destroyed infrastructure system in Gaza, lefting Palestinians without electricity, gas and power.

"Credible"


The panel’s 575-page investigative report, requested by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, was overseen by a respected South African jurist, Richard Goldstone.

The report takes note of the formal responses to what has come to known as the “Goldstone report,” submitted by the Israeli government and the Palestinians, in which both sides pledge to fully investigate.

In a short preface to his 72-page report, nearly all of which is responses by Israel and the Palestinians, Ban Ki-Moon concluded he could not ultimately determine yet whether Israel and the Palestinians had met the General Assembly’s demands to carry out credible, independent investigations into their own actions.

He said he hoped the assembly’s resolution will, in fact, result in probes “that are independent, credible and in conformity with international standards.” But, he added that “no determination can be made on the implementation of the resolution by the parties concerned.”


Agencies

Last Mod: 05 Şubat 2010, 14:59
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