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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Israel war crimes case gains momentum

Sat, 24 Jan 2009 08:56:28 GMT | PressTV
Nearly 1,330 Gazans -- at least 460 of them children -- were killed in the 23-day Israeli offensive.
The case for Israeli war crimes in Gaza gathers momentum as a prominent UN official calls for legal action against the assault architects.

John Ging, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, called for an international investigation into the possible war crimes committed by the Israeli military during its 23-day offensive into the coastal territory.

According to Ging, it is urgent to establish accountability "for why the Israeli air force hit infrastructure of the state of Palestine rather than the infrastructure of terror, whatever that may be."

While Israeli forces deny committing war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights asserts that the recent major attacks on the Gaza Strip will be successfully prosecuted.

"They were well-documented, televised and the world was paying attention," a member of the Gaza City team commented.

The case for Tel Aviv's war crimes became stronger on Thursday when the Israeli military admitted that it pounded the Palestinian coast with at least twenty phosphorus bombs during the offensive.

White phosphorus, classified as a 'chemical weapon' by the US intelligence, is a highly-incendiary substance that bursts into all-consuming flames that cannot be extinguished with water, burning flesh to the bone and often leading to death.

Under the Geneva Treaty of 1980, the use of white phosphorous as a weapon is prohibited.

International attorneys have filed war crime charges against 15 Israeli political and military officials, including Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak.

Israeli organizations have been warning top Israeli officials against going abroad over fears of arrests.

Visiting Gaza, Ging said Israel had destroyed the future of the Palestinians to such an extent that the overall reconstruction costs could run into billions of dollars.

"There has been so much destruction here, not just to housing... but to the infrastructure of the future state," said UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) operations chief John Ging.

Sir John added that the scope of destruction would have disturbing repercussions for "for the future of the people of Gaza, who are forced to fall back on the public sector."

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