Israel rapped over beach deaths inquiry

Human Rights Watch has accused an Israeli army investigation of ignoring evidence that challenges its decision to clear the military of blame for a blast that killed seven Palestinians on a Gaza beach.

    The incident has been widely condemned

    In a statement on Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said the Israeli army (IDF) had excluded all evidence gathered by other sources.

    It had either called into question or declined to accept evidence collected by the group, the statement said.

    Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch, said: "An investigation that refuses to look at contradictory evidence can hardly be considered credible.

    "The IDF's partisan approach highlights the need for an independent, international investigation."
       
    Israel has ruled out an international inquiry.

    The deaths on June 9, a day of heavy Israeli shelling, drew international condemnation and prompted Hamas, the ruling Palestinian movement, to call off its 16-month-old truce.
       
    The army had no immediate comment on the accusations from the US-based human rights group, which has carried out its own investigation into the explosion that killed seven family members on an outing to the beach.

    The argument

    The army has said shelling of the area, in response to rocket fire into Israel, had ended before the beach blast.

    Retrieved shrapnel samples also ruled out the possibility of a direct Israeli artillery barrage, it said.
       

    "An investigation that refuses to look at contradictory evidence can hardly be considered credible"

    Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst, Human Rights Watch

    But evidence collected by Human Rights Watch researchers indicated the civilians were killed within the time period of the shelling, the statement said.

    That evidence included computerised and hand-written hospital records showing the time when some of the wounded were admitted.
       
    Offered such evidence in a meeting this week, the army dismissed the material as "unimportant", the statement added.
       
    The Human Rights Watch statement follows a report by Israeli television on Tuesday which said the delayed explosion of a dud Israeli shell may have killed the beachgoers.

    The army has not ruled this out.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.