Israel Urged to Probe Gaza War

The Israel military forces used weapons containing white phosphorus during the 22-day assault on Gaza. An Israeli human rights group has called for an independent inquiry into Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians during a three-week invasion of the Gaza Strip at the turn of 2009.

"Better late than never: even two years since Operation Cast Lead, an independent Israeli investigation is crucial to achieve accountability and prevent future violations," read a statement released by B’Tselem on Wednesday.

Israel launched Operating Cast Lead against the densely-populated territory on December 27, 2008, killing at least 1,400 Palestinians and wounding thousands of others.

The rights group questioned former inquiries conducted by the Israeli military into the war, describing them as insufficient investigations which did not meet the demands for an independent probe.

"In light of the severe harm inflicted on human rights during the operation, Israel has the moral and practical obligation to open an investigation, external to the military, to examine the complaints of breaches of law," said the rights group.

"Israel can still investigate effectively, and has the duty to do so. First, those responsible for the harsh violations of human rights must be held accountable. Second, the investigation’s conclusions can guide policy in future military operations," the statement added.

In September 2009, a UN fact finding team, headed by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, released a report, accusing Israeli military forces of war crimes against the Palestinians during the offense.

The report accused Israel of deliberate attacks against the civilian population of Gaza and of willful destruction of civilian infrastructure, a violation of international law.

(Press TV)

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