World powers have 'failed' Gazans

UN expert condemns international powers for "failing" to probe alleged war crimes.

    Falk urged world leaders to push for an end to the blockade using the threat of sanctions [Al Jazeera]

    He said the three-year-old blockade has prevented sufficient food and medicine to reach Gazans, contributing to a deterioration in the humanitarian situation for residents of the coastal strip.

    'Dire situation'

    "People of conscience everywhere, as well as governments worldwide and the United Nations, should take note of the dire situation in Gaza," Falk said.

    "The ordeal of the 1.5 million residents of Gaza affected by the Israeli blockade, over half of whom are children, has been allowed to continue without any formal objection by governments and at the UN."

    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'
     'Israel has to be accountable'

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    He said such conditions were made worse by the affects of Israel's 22-day offensive in Gaza last year.

    Israeli land, air and naval forces began bombarding the Gaza Strip last December, saying that it wanted to stop rocket attacks by Palestinian fighters.

    More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed during the offensive, according to estimates by human rights groups.

    Thirteen Israelis, including 10 soldiers, died over the same time period, Israel said.

    A UN-sponsored report, known as the Goldstone report, has called on both Israel and Hamas to investigate accusations of human-rights violations committed during the conflict in Gaza.

    Most of the criticism in the Goldstone report was directed towards Israel.

    It concluded that Israel had used disproportionate force and had deliberately targeted Gaza civilians, using them as human shields, while destroying civilian infrastructure.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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