UN Report Accuses Israel, Gaza Militants of War Crimes

While accusing both Israel and the Palestinians of committing “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip, a UN report on Tuesday blamed Israel for using disproportionate force during its attack on the strip in response to rocket attacks on southern Israel some eight months ago, say media reports

The report submitted by the four-member probe panel “concluded that actions amounting to war crimes and possibly in some respect crimes against humanity were committed by the Israel Defense Forces,” said the head of UN probe, Richard Goldstone.

While clarifying that the rocket firing by Palestinian armed groups that triggered the Israeli offensive also amounted to war crimes and perhaps, even to crimes against humanity, said the seven-page summary of the report, which devoted a small part to Palestinian violations.

“We came to the conclusion on the basis of the facts we found that there was strong evidence to establish that numerous serious violations of international law, both humanitarian law and human rights law were committed by Israel during the military operation in Gaza,” said Goldstone.

Though, Israel was immediate in its dismissal of the report, it added that despite its reservations, the report would be “carefully” read as the country was committed “to acting fully in accordance with international law and to examining any allegations of wrongdoing by its own forces.”

The findings and recommendations of the report are scheduled to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council later this month.

Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during the conflict between December 28, 2008 and January 18.

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