UN Urges Probe into Gaza War Crimes

The top UN human rights official has called for an independent investigation into possible war crimes committed by Israeli troops in the bombed-out Gaza Strip.

"I am concerned with violations of international law," Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told Reuters in an interview.

"Incidents such as this must be investigated because they display elements of what could constitute war crimes."

More than 804 people have been killed, including some 220 children and 89 women, and more than 3,300 wounded in a two-week Israeli offensive in Gaza.

The UN accused Israel Friday of shelling a house crowded of civilians, killing at least 30 people.

"There is an international obligation on the part of soldiers in their position to protect civilians, not to kill civilians indiscriminately in the first place, and when they do to make sure that they help the wounded," Pillay said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday found four starving children sitting in front of the dead bodies of their mothers at a Gaza house.

"In this particular case these children were helpless and the soldiers were close by," said Pillay, a former International Criminal Court judge from South Africa.

The UN Human Rights Council debated Thursday rights violations in the bombed-out Gaza Strip.

Pakistan’s ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), denounced Israel’s "unrestrained use of force", killing of innocent civilians and violation of UN safe havens.

"In their totality these constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity," he said.

The Israeli government decided Friday to push ahead with its offensive in Gaza, ignoring a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Death Everywhere

Ahmed Ibrahim Samouni, 13, lost his whole family in one of non-stop Israeli attacks in Gaza.

"There were maybe more than 25 people killed," Ahmed told Reuters, with tears rolling down his checks.

Lying in hospital in Gaza, the Gazan boy recalls the moment when Israeli tanks and planes struck.

"We were asleep when the tanks and the planes struck, we all slept in one room," Samouni said in a weak voice.

"One shell hit our house. Thank God we were not hit.

"We ran out of the house and saw 15 men … they landed from helicopters on rooftops of buildings."

The 13-year-old said that Israeli soldiers beat residents and forced them into one house.

But suddenly, Israeli planes and tanks struck the house, which was supposed to provide shelter from the Israeli war machine.

"Abu Salah died, his wife died. Abu Tawfiq died, his son died, his wife also died. Mohammed Ibrahim died, and his mother died. Ishaq died and Nasar died. The wife of Nael Samouni died. Many people died."
(IslamOnline.net and Agencies)

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1 Comment

  1. A Litany of Terror and Lawlessness orchestrated by an evil regime. So when is someone going to step up and do something about it? Or is the World going to simply keep looking the other way, allowing impunity to prevail?
    There are lives here, human lives, maybe similar to those in your country. Yet they suffer, while complicit states continue to trade with the offender.

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