UN unsure if Gaza probes set up

Ban Ki-moon says not clear independent probes on Gaza war conduct have been carried out.

    About 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the war [EPA]

    In his 72-page report, Ban mostly forwards reports to him from the Palestinians and Israelis and makes no assessment himself, our correspondent said.

    'Hope' over probes

    Last Friday, Ban received a 46-page report from Israel in which it denied violating international law, but admitted "tragic results" due to the "complexity and scale" of conducting a military operation in a heavily populated area.

    In depth


     Video: Interview with Richard Goldstone
     Timeline: Gaza War
     Analysis: War crimes in Gaza?
     Goldstone's full report to the UN rights council
     Key points of the Goldstone report
     UN inquiry finds Gaza war crimes
     'Half of Gaza war dead civilians'

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    Ban highlighted Israel's assertion that two of its senior officers – a brigadier-general and a colonel - were disciplined for the firing of white phosphorous shells towards a UN compound during the Gaza war.

    Also last Friday, Ban was handed a preliminary report from the Palestinians in which they said a commission of five well-known judges and legal experts had been set up.

    In his report on Thursday, Ban said he had on several occasions urged both sides "to carry out credible domestic investigations into the conduct of the Gaza conflict".

    "I hope that such steps will be taken wherever there are credible allegations of human rights abuses," he added.

    A UN spokesman said the General Assembly would meet soon to discuss Ban's Gaza report.

    The Goldstone report accused Israel and Palestinian fighters of war crimes during the Gaza war.

    Most of criticism in the report was directed towards Israel, which was accused of using "disproportionate force" and deliberately targeting civilians.

    It recommended that its findings be passed to the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court at The Hague if Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian faction which governs the Gaza Strip, fail to carry out credible independent investigations of the claims by Friday – six months from when the report was submitted.

    About 1,400 Palestinians - many of them women and children - were killed in the war. Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, were also killed.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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