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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fatah to take Israel to The Hague

Fri, 23 Jan 2009 14:59:24 GMT
White phosphorus was largely used by Israel against civilians in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian Fatah party has ordered a specialized team to probe Israel's use of banned weapons during its 23-day offensive against Gaza.

In an interview with Press TV on Friday, senior Fatah member Abdullah Abdullah said the Palestinian faction has launched an investigation into Tel Aviv's resort to incendiary white phosphorus bombs during the Gaza war.

A specialized team is working on the issue, collecting evidence and information from witnesses, said Abdullah, adding that the use of other types of internationally forbidden arms, including depleted uranium, was also under investigation.

"We will take this to the responsible and relevant authorities including the criminal court in The Hague," he stressed.

The Fatah official's remarks come amid a wave of international calls for a probe into Israel's war crimes against Palestinians in the beleaguered Gaza Strip, which has long been suffering from lack of food, medicine and fuel under an Israeli-imposed blockade that has been in place for over 18 months.

Twenty-three days of relentless shelling and airstrikes on the Hamas-run territory left at least 1,330 people - including 460 children and some 106 women - killed and more than 5,450 others wounded.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian resistance groups including Islamic Jihad and Hamas as well as Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas have called for a national dialogue, urging unity against the 'occupant enemy'.

Abdullah lamented the separation of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank as the undeclared Israeli goal to keep Palestinians divided. He further urged all Palestinian groups to support the Egyptian-mediated negotiations to reach a common understanding and a better future for the nation.

The top Fatah member criticized the move by Hamas to retain control of the coastal sliver, saying if the movement sought "to replace the Palestinian Authority, it will not work".

The Islamic Hamas Movement seized power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after the rival Fatah party dismantled prime minister Ismail Haniyah's democratically elected government and formed its own rule in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

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