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Israeli strike on civilian house may be ‘war crime’ says UN

Tim Butcher
London Telegraph [1]
Saturday, Jan 10, 2008

The United Nations has called for Israel to be investigated for war crimes over the shelling of a house full of Palestinian civilians which left dozens dead.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the attack, first revealed in The Telegraph, on members of the extended Samouni family in the Gazan town of Zeitoun “appears to have all the elements of war crimes.”

Her remarks came after the International Committee of the Red Cross accused Israel of breaking the rules of war by failing to help the wounded in the incident.

According to the ICRC, four infant children were found too weak to stand after clinging for 48 hours to what ambulance crew believed to be the corpses of their mothers while Israeli soldiers were less than 100 yards away.

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Under the rules of war, soldiers have an obligation to treat properly the survivors of combat.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Speaking to an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council Miss Pillay said Palestinian militants firing rockets into Israel was “unacceptable” but that it did not justify alleged abuses committed by the Israeli army.

She said conditions currently being endured by the 1.5 million strong population of Gaza “constitute egregious violations of human rights”.

Full article here [1]