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Friday, February 6, 2009

Israeli forces capture Lebanese aid ship

Thu, 05 Feb 2009 18:59:55 GMT

The case for Israeli war
crimes in Gaza has
gathered momentum
as international attorneys
have filed charges a
gainst senior echelons
in Tel Aviv.
Representatives from various countries will convene in Tehran to help lodge a case for war crimes committed by Israel in its war on Gaza.

Iranian Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi said Thursday that legal authorities from nearly 55 countries are expected to come to a summit in Tehran in early March to defend their case against Israel.

"The summit will explore legal and judicial ways for an international investigation into the acts of genocide and crimes against humanity that Israel committed in the Gaza Strip," said Mortazavi.

The official said a high commission has been launched within the Iranian Judiciary to take legal action against the architects of Israel's three-week long offensive on the Palestinian territory.

"As a signatory to the Geneva Convention, the Islamic Republic reserves the right to prosecute Israel as culpable for war crimes," he added.

The summit announcement comes only two days after the Palestinian Authority recognized the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over Israel's alleged violations of humanitarian law.

Calls for an international probe into Tel Aviv war crimes intensified after Israeli soldiers asserted that they pounded the Palestinian coast with at least twenty phosphorus bombs during their operations.

Israel initially denied using the controversial weapon, which burns the flesh to the bone, but was forced later, in the face of mounting evidence, to admit to having used it.

Other charges brought against Israel include the "reckless and indiscriminate" shelling of residential areas, the use of Palestinian families as human shields by Israeli soldiers and the unrelenting attacks on several medical facilities and UN compounds in the area.

More than 1330 Palestinians -- the natives of the land -- were killed during Israel's Operation Cast Lead, while thousands of others, many of them women and children, remain hospitalized.

Tel Aviv has strived to justify its devastating assault on Gaza by claiming that it sought 'self-defense' as recognized by Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.

The UN Charter and international law, however, do not give Israel the legal foundation for claiming self-defense in the case of its Gaza operations.

Israeli election frontrunner Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, claimed that Israel failed to achieve its main objectives mainly because the offensive on Gaza "did not go far enough".

The military operations on Gaza came at a time when Palestinians were already suffering from a 19-month blockade, which stripped the area of vital goods, including food, fuel, medical supplies and construction materials.

Running water and electricity are reportedly available less than 12 hours a day. "Entire neighborhoods have disappeared," the BBC reported.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics has reported that an estimated 60,800 people are left homeless and more than 100,000 people remain displaced in the coastal sliver

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