ElBaradei cancels BBC interview on Gaza appeal

Vienna, Jan 29, IRNA — The head of the United Nations nuclear agency has cancelled interviews with the BBC over its refusal to air an appeal for the victims of the Gaza conflict.

Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, pulled the plug on scheduled interviews with BBC radio and World Service television.

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The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said the BBC’s decision violated “basic human decency”.

Three weeks of Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip killed or maimed several hundred Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

The U.N. said that 300 of those killed are children.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that Israeli helicopters deliberately targeted ambulances, nurses and the international relief aid workers while carrying the wounded to hospital.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency said that Israeli exceeded the boundaries of self-defense and committed war crimes in Gaza.

The United Nations General Assembly requested an advisory opinion from the Hague-based International Court of Justice on intervention of the international courts amid growing calls that Israeli actions in Gaza are violation of the Geneva Conventions and the international criminal law.

“There is a well-grounded view that both the initial attacks on Gaza and the tactics being used by Israel are serious violations of the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, international law and international humanitarian law,” said Richard Falk, the UN’s special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.

“There is consensus among independent legal experts that Israel is an occupying power and is therefore bound by the duties set out in the Fourth Geneva Convention,” Falk said.

Falk said: “The arguments that Israel’s blockade is a form of prohibited collective punishment and it is in breach of its duty to ensure the population has sufficient food and healthcare as the occupying power, are very strong.”

“If there were political will there could be an ad-hoc tribunal established to hear allegations of war crimes,” Falk said.

“This could be done by the UN General Assembly acting under Article 22 of the UN Charter which gives them the authority to establish subsidiary bodies.”