• May 6, 2009

Israel pressures against endorsement of UN report condemning it of war crimes

Israel pressures against endorsement of UN report condemning it of war crimes

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has bowed to Israeli pressures and did not endorse a UN fact finding commission”s report condemning Israel for war crimes committed during its war on Gaza, Hebrew media indicated.

The Hebrew radio”s correspondent in New York quoted diplomatic sources as saying that the report was tabled with Ki-moon, who said that it was not a “legal document”.

The radio reporter said that Ki-moon intends to inform the UN Security Council that no further investigation would be made on the Israeli operation “Cast Lead” and would hail Israel”s cooperation with the fact finding mission.

For its part, Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot said that Israel exercised big pressures over the past few days on the Secretary General to amend the report or postpone its publication.

Israeli president Shimon Peres is expected to raise the issue during a meeting with Ki-moon in New York on Wednesday.

The UN report, conducted by an independent committee, denounced the Israeli aerial raids on UN installations during the latest war on Gaza, holding it responsible for the death and injury of civilians who were seeking refuge in those installations.

The commission was entrusted was probing nine such cases in which the UN offices were shelled or fired at. It also recommended investigating possible war crimes in Gaza.

The report rejected Israel”s allegation that Palestinian resistance elements were firing at the Israeli forces from Fakhoura school, run by the UN, which was targeted in the Israeli shelling that killed 40 citizens who were seeking protection inside it.

The report also condemned the Israeli army”s use of phosphorus bombs that burnt the entire stored materials in the main UN warehouse in Gaza.

It said that Israel should pay compensations for the death and injury in lines of UN employees and its installations, and added that the UN should adopt other steps to bring Israel to account.

However, the report also said that a separate probe should be made into the war crimes committed by both sides in Gaza and south Israel during the war despite the fact that the Palestinians were defending themselves against the Israeli brutal aggression with simple weaponry.