Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
U.N. reports say Israel targeted civilians in Gaza
Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:32pm EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Robert Evans
GENEVA (Reuters) - United Nations investigators said on Monday Israel violated a range of human rights during its invasion of Gaza, including targeting civilians and using a child as a human shield.
The accusations came in reports to the U.N. Human Rights Council which also called for an urgent end to Israeli restrictions on humanitarian supplies to Gaza and a full international investigation into the conflict.
"Civilian targets, particularly homes and their occupants, appear to have taken the brunt of the attacks, but schools and medical facilities have also been hit," said one report by Radhika Coomaraswamy, the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.
The Sri Lankan human rights lawyer visited the region in early February. She cited a long series of incidents to back her charges.
In one, she said, Israeli soldiers shot a father after ordering him out of his house and then opened fire into the room where the rest of the family was sheltering, wounding the mother and three brothers and killing a fourth.
In another, on January 15, at Tal al Hawa south-west of Gaza City, Israeli soldiers forced an 11-year-old boy to walk in front of them for several hours as they moved through the town, even after they had been shot at.
An Israeli commander in the 22-day Gaza invasion said on Monday Israel's efforts to protect troops from Palestinian fire may have contributed to unwarranted killing of civilians.
"If you want to know whether I think that in doing so we killed innocents, the answer is, unequivocally, yes," Tzvika Fogel, a reserve brigadier-general, told Reuters. Fogel added that such incidents were exceptional.
ISRAEL CRITICISES REPORT
Coomaraswamy's comments formed part of a much longer report from nine U.N. investigators including specialists on the right to health, to food, to adequate housing and education and on summary executions and violence against women.
All cited violations by Israel -- and in some cases by the Hamas Islamic movement that controls Gaza -- during the invasion from December 27 until January 17 which Israeli leaders say was launched to stop rocket attacks by Hamas from the territory.
Palestinian officials say 1,434 people in Gaza -- 960 of them civilians -- were killed in the fighting, a figure Israel contests. The report from the nine gave the total as 1,440, saying of these 431 were children and 114 women.
The overall report was criticized in the 47-nation Council by Israel's ambassador Aharon Leshno Yar, who said it "wilfully ignores and downplays the terrorist and other threats we face," and the use by Hamas of human shields.
Leshno Yar said the 43-page document was part of a pattern of "demonizing Israel" in the Council -- where an informal bloc of Islamic and African nations usually backed by Russia, China and Cuba has a built-in majority.
Another report presented to the Council on Monday came from Robert Falk, a U.S. academic and the body's special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories. Continued...
View article on single page
FedEx plane crashes on landing in Tokyo, two dead
Also On Reuters
Reuters Summit: Global Hedge Fund And Private Equity
Video: Oldest food coop in the U.S. grows in crisis
The world's cheapest car, the $2,000 Nano, to hit the roads
More International News
Iraq suicide bomber kills 25, wounds 45
FedEx plane crashes on landing in Tokyo, two dead
Disarm or leave, Iraq's Talabani tells PKK
Lebanon bomb kills senior Fatah official, 4 others
U.S. wants Afghanistan exit strategy
More International News...
General links Israeli tactics to Gaza civilian toll
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Venezuela's Chavez calls Obama "ignoramus"
Obama met Gorbachev in run-up to Medvedev talks
Nobel laureate Krugman slams Geithner bailout plan
UPDATE 1-IMF says clean up banks to tackle dire world crisis
RPT-FEATURE-Global recession stalls skyscraper construction
U.S. woos investors to buy toxic assets | Video
The Nano, world's cheapest car, to hit Indian roads | Video
U.S. existing home sales rose in February
China's last eunuch spills sex secrets
FedEx plane crash lands, burns at Tokyo's Narita
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Japan cargo plane crashes
Pope's condom stand challenged
Montana plane crash kills 17
Jade Goody dies in her sleep
Tributes pour in for Jade Goody
"Peoples' car" Nano launched
Talk of the Town: Jade Goody dies
Israel mall bomb stopped
AIG stays in the hotseat
Indian cricket forced offshore
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
Your opinion matters
We want to hear from you Learn More
Take Reuters online survey
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.