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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Iran urges Israel trial over Gaza attack

Thu, 26 Mar 2009 08:34:47 GMT | PressTV

Iran's ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaei
Iran's ambassador to the UN has called on the international community to bring Israeli officials behind the recent attack on Gaza to justice.

Mohammad Khazaei told the UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday that the international body, including the UN and the Security Council, had to take 'immediate' action against what Tehran defines as Israel's crimes against Palestinians.

"Israel continues the expansionist and belligerent policies it started 60 years ago against Palestinians," Khazaei said at the session, adding that Israeli officials must stand trial for their three-week onslaught on Gaza.

Israel has been under fire for committing 'war crimes' and 'crimes against humanity' as well as using unconventional weapons in its massive three-week-long military strike on the Gaza Step, which killed over 1,300 Palestinians, injured thousands and destroyed houses, schools and hospitals.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a 71-page report titled "Rain of Fire" published on Wednesday that Israel's repeated use of white phosphorus in densely-populated areas was not accidental but revealed "a pattern or policy of conduct."

The report also said that the Israeli army "was aware of the effects of white phosphorus and the dangers it poses to civilians."

During the UN meeting, Iran's envoy also said that Israel was continuing to breach the basic principles of human rights by threatening Palestinian lives, destroying their homes and expanding Israeli settlements.

Khazaei also condemned Israel for using an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield during the Gaza war, calling it 'just one example of the thousands of Israeli crimes against Palestinians'.

A group of UN human rights experts said on Monday that Israeli soldiers had used the boy as a human shield to protect themselves from being targeted by fighters in the Gazan neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa.

According to Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN Secretary-General's envoy for protecting children in armed conflict, Israeli soldiers ordered the boy to walk in front of them and enter buildings to assure the safety of the troops.

Human Rights Watch has called on the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to set up an international commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of violations of international law in the Gaza war by the Israeli military.

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