May 5, 2009

Just wait for it – the accusations of bias, anti-semitism, and whatnot… read below:

UN rebukes Israel over Gaza raids: BBC

A United Nations inquiry into attacks by Israeli forces on UN property during the Gaza conflict four months ago has heavily criticised Israel’s army. It found Israel to blame in six out of nine incidents when death or injury were caused to people sheltering at UN property and UN buildings were damaged. In one case, Palestinian militants were found to have fired at a UN warehouse. The Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, rejected the report, saying it was biased. “We have the most moral army in the world,” he said. “IDF [Israeli Defense Force] commanders and soldiers made every effort to avoid hurting uninvolved civilians. He accused Hamas of hiding its fighters among civilians and in the vicinity of UN installations.
The UN report recommends further investigation into possible war crimes. The investigation rejects Israel’s claim that militants were firing from the Fakhura school when at least 40 people outside the school were killed in shellfire. The board of inquiry also criticises Israel’s use of white phosphorus shells which caused the incineration of the UN’s main food warehouse in Gaza.

Reparations sought
The BBC’s Laura Trevelyan at the UN says it is a hard-hitting report which includes heavy criticism of the Israeli military’s actions and subsequent explanations and justifications. The UN board’s first recommendation seeks “formal acknowledgment” by Israel that its public statements that Palestinians fired from a UN school and from within the UN’s field office compound “were untrue and are regretted”. Another recommendation says the UN should take appropriate action to seek reparation for all deaths and injuries involving its personnel and property.
The report says Israel’s actions were in breach of the agreement that UN premises and those sheltering within them should be immune from attack, something which cannot be set aside for military action. The board says investigating the deaths of the 40 people killed outside the Fakhura school is outside its remit. It recommends that this and allegations of war crimes committed in Gaza and southern Israel by Palestinian militants and Israel should be investigated by another inquiry. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has stressed this report is not a legal document.

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