Hamas says we’re helping foreign lawyers prosecute Israelis 20Dec09 December 21, 2009
Haaretz -Â 20 December 2009
A committee set up by the Islamist militant group Hamas is aiding European lawyers to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by Israel in its winter offensive in Gaza a year ago, AFP reported on Sunday.
“We provide documents, reports and evidence of crimes to all international bodies aiding the Palestinian people in bringing Israeli civilian and military leaders to trial and issuing warrants for their arrest,” Diya al-Madhun, the judge who heads the committee, told the French news agency.
“We have provided a group of independent lawyers in Britain with documents, information and evidence concerning war crimes committed by Israeli political and military leaders, including [opposition leader Tzipi] Livni.”
Al-Madhun added, however, that the lawyers acted independently and were not hired by the Islamist group, according to AFP.
Livni, who served as foreign minister during the war, cancelled a trip to London last week after an arrest warrant was issued against her by a British court, sparking a diplomatic row between the two countries.
Palestinian human rights groups say more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians; Israel says around 1,100 Gazans were killed and that most were militants. Thirteen Israelis were also killed: three civilians and ten soldiers.
A controversial United Nations Human Rights Council report authored by South African jurist Richard Goldstone earlier this year accused both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes during the 3-week conflict.