HRW says Israel failed to investigate Gaza war crimes 9Feb10 February 10, 2010

The Palestine Telegraph -  9 February 2010


Human Rights Watch said Israel has failed to demonstrate that it will be conduct an exhaustive and impartial investigations into violations of the laws of war by its troops during last year’s offensive on the Gaza Strip.

HRW said that there is a need for an independent investigation, to hold accountable those who committed abuses, including senior military officials and politicians who set the policies violating the laws of war.

Human Rights Watch interviewed on February 4, 2010 military lawyers from the Israeli army to discuss the investigations. In the mean time, Israelis are investigating, but officials did not provide any information showing that the investigations will be fair and thorough, or it will face the decisions and policies of the leadership that led unlawfully to the death of civilians.

Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, said: “Israel claims that it was investigating credibly and fairly, but so far it has failed to prove this.” “There is a need for an independent investigation to understand why many civilians were killed in this manner, and to provide justice for victims of unlawful attacks”, he continued.

In one case, it appears that the military investigation did not pay attention to important evidence: the remains of a bomb found in the Al-Bader mill near Jabalya. According to the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza conflict, Israel denied targeting the mill from the air, despite the released proof footage, obtained by Human Rights Watch, showing what appeared to be the remains of an aerial bomb-specifically a 500-pound MK 82 bomb. The UN demining team said they defused the bomb.

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