Tue, 05 May 2009 10:40:15 GMT
In pursuit of the case of Israeli war crimes, the United Nations moves to report to the Security Council that UN facilities in Gaza had been targeted willfully.
After the United Nations Works and Relief Agency (UNRWA) compound became the target of GPS-guided Israeli mortars on January 15, the UN set up a commission to bring Israeli human rights violations in Gaza out into the open.
The commission — led by the former British secretary-general of human rights group Amnesty International, Ian Martin — assembled a report on Israeli actions in Gaza for submission to the Security Council.
“Israel deliberately fired at UN institutions even though it knew it was forbidden”, read the report.
According to Israeli daily Ynet, the report blames Israel for disproportionate fire and excessive use of force and goes on to confirm that IDF forces shot at Palestinian civilians unnecessarily and excessively.
A member of the American delegation at the UN described the report as “unprecedented in its gravity towards Israel.”
“Israel will have to lick the wounds of the report for many years, if the current wording is accepted as it is,” the source was quoted as saying.
The report which includes serious charges against Israel has ruffled feathers in Israel, raising fears that it would prompt legal proceedings.
As the commission gets set to submit the report to the council on Tuesday, Israel made a move to reject the findings of the controversial report on Tuesday saying that Hamas “are misleading the investigators, the UN and public opinion.”
Israel is suspected of committing war crimes including the use of the deadly white phosphorus shells in densely populated civilian areas, as revealed in an investigation by The Times in January.
While Israel initially denied using the controversial weapon, later mounting evidence forced Israeli officials to admit to having employed the shells.
Earlier in April, the IDF issued a statement claiming that Israeli probes had found that its forces did not violate international law during the recent war in Gaza.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in its Tuesday statement that Israel has held an independent review of its behavior during Operation Cast Lead and “the conclusions of these probes were released two weeks ago and they proved beyond all doubt that there was no deliberate shooting by the IDF at UN facilities.”