View Full Version : Accusations With Regard to Israeli War Crimes Must be Investigated

05-14-2009, 01:20 AM
Accusations With Regard to Israeli War Crimes Must be Investigated

by Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine and Other Occupied Territories

On 23 March Richard Falk, the American Professor of International Law and UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine and Other Occupied Territories, gave his eagerly awaited oral statement to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on the human rights situation in the Gaza strip during the last war lasting from Dec 27, 2008 to 18 January 2009. In this report he blatantly expounded the gross violation of law by the Israeli Army during the war in Gaza, which had lasted for 22 days. Thereby he questioned the Israeli reasoning that this had been a legitimate war of self defense and he demanded an investigation into the question, whether the assault on Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, had to be assessed as a war crime, for which Israel would be accountable. It is not the first time that an Israeli assault on the Palestinians was entirely disproportional and not at all in accordance with the international law. After Richard Falkís clear statement the community of states have to ask themselves for how long they want to look on without taking any action against Israelís mistreatment of Palestinians.
Mr President, Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Council, Honoured Representatives of Civil Society Organizations, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In my previous statement to the Council, I spoke about the desperate situation confronting occupied Gaza. Here, I will not repeat what I already said concerning Gaza, except to take note of two important aspects of the situation not covered in my main report.

First of all, the continuation of the blockade of Gaza, despite its previous impact on the civilian population since the cease-fire was established in January 2009, and despite calls by many prominent international leaders, including by Tony Blair, Special Envoy of the Quartet for the opening of the crossings and the President of the United States. Second, to take note of recent testimonies of Israeli soldiers that add credible confirmation to the allegations of Israeli war crimes associated with the 27 December and 18 January attacks.

An unfortunate effect of recent preoccupations with the desperate humanitarian plight of Gaza has been to neglect developments adverse to the human rights of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. These developments appear to have a serious, and perhaps, a decisive negative bearing on the prospects of achieving peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, and deliberately obstruct the exercise of the right of self-determination on the part of the Palestinian people.

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