Middle East Online, Sep 16, 2009
‘Violations of humanitarian law and human rights law’
‘Strong evidence’ of Israeli ‘willful killing’, torture, extensive destruction of property in Gaza.
UNITED NATIONS – A UN report Tuesday accused both Israel and the Palestinians of committing “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip, but particularly slammed Israel’s use of disproportionate force in the conflict.
The damning report found Israel violated international humanitarian law during its assault on the Gaza Strip eight months ago.
The four-member probe panel “concluded that actions amounting to war crimes and possibly in some respect crimes against humanity were committed by the Israel Defense Forces,” the head of the UN probe, former international prosecutor Richard Goldstone, told reporters.
Rocket firing by Palestinian resistance groups also amounted to war crimes “and may amount to crimes against humanity,” a seven-page summary said.
But only four paragraphs of the summary were devoted to Palestinian violations, and Goldstone, appointed in April to lead a broadened human rights probe into the Gaza violence, was more sharply critical of Israel.