Haneyya: UN report clearly condemned Israel for its war crimes in Gaza
|Thursday, September 17,2009 10:36|
Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya stated Tuesday that the report issued by the fact-finding committee formed by the UN showed clear condemnation of the Israeli occupation for committing war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip.
During the weekly cabinet meeting, Haneyya said that his government facilitated the work of this committee and provided it with the climate to reach the full truth about the war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza.
He highlighted that the Palestinian resistance is in position of self-defense and its simple means can never be compared to the huge military arsenal used by Israel against the Palestinian people.
The premier also stressed the importance of the UN’s role in following the atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinian people as part of the responsibilities lying on its shoulders towards Gaza and the West Bank.
In the same context, Arab Knesset member Jamal Zahalka called for taking advantage of the report issued by the UN fact-finding committee headed by South African judge Richard Goldstone to prosecute Israeli war criminals and to start imposing sanctions on the Israeli occupation.
MP Zahalka said that the blood of more than 400 Palestinian children in Gaza and more than 1,000 civilians should not go to waste, stressing the report is an opportunity to work on the punishment of Israeli officials for their crimes in Gaza.
The lawmaker underlined that since the report confirmed the occurrence of war crimes and behind every crime there is a perpetrator, the names of Israeli war criminals are known in this case such as war minister Ehud Barak and chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi.
The lawmaker noted that the report illustrated that Israel targeted civilians and civil infrastructure in order to achieve political goals represented in its attempt to overthrow the government of Hamas and restore the Israeli military deterrence that was damaged during its war on Lebanon.
He stressed the need for working on the international level to prevent war criminals from escaping punishment or else Israel would be encouraged to wage more criminal wars against the Palestinians and the Arab nation.
For his part, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Tuesday that the UN report further vindicated the commission of war crimes against humanity in Gaza, adding that the international community is required now to prosecute Israeli officials as war criminals in international courts.
Spokesman Barhoum emphasized that the international law gave the Palestinian people the right to defend themselves and retaliate to any Israeli aggression as long as they are under occupation.
Head of the fact-finding committee Richard Goldstone had said Tuesday in a press statement that the UN mission concluded that the Israeli army committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza.
Goldstone added that the report consists of 574 pages and proves that Israel committed serious violations of the international human rights law during its military war on Gaza.
He also recommended the UN Security Council to demand Israel to start independent investigations in accordance with international standards into possible war crimes committed by its troops in Gaza and to form an international committee of human rights' experts to follow up the Israeli measures in this regard.
He stressed that Israel’s failure to conduct these probes, entitles the Security Council to refer the situation in Gaza to the prosecutor of the international criminal court in The Hague.