Israeli actions against Palestinian civilians are serious war crimes – UN


Geneva : UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, John Dugard, said those responsible for “cowardly actions” in Gaza against innocent civilians are guilty of serious “war crimes” and should be prosecuted and punished for their crimes.

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He added that the killing of some 40 Palestinians in Gaza in the past week, among other actions, raises very serious questions about Israel’s respect for international law and its commitment to the peace process.

Dugard, added in a statement Friday, that those actions by Israel include the targeting of a Government office near a wedding party venue with what must have been foreseen loss of life and injury to many civilians, and the closure of all crossings into Gaza.

“Recent action violates the strict prohibition on collective punishment contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention. It also violates one of the basic principles of international humanitarian law that military action must distinguish between military targets and civilian targets,” said Dugard.

He stressed that Israel must have known about the wedding party in Gaza near to the interior ministry when it launched missiles at the ministry building.

Dugard further stressed that the United States and other states, which attended the Annapolis conference, are under both a legal and a moral obligation to compel Israel to cease its actions against Gaza and to restore confidence in the peace process, ensure respect for international law and protect civilian life.