Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tutu: 2006 Israeli attack on Beit Hanoun possible war crime

"The South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu told the United Nations this week that he believes that a 2006 Israeli attack on the southern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun “showed a disproportionate and reckless disregard for Palestinian civilian life”, and could possibly be considered a war crime.

Tutu was part of an investigatory commission created by the United Nations (UN) shortly after the incident to travel to Gaza and conduct an investigation. But Israel refused to issue the renowned Archbishop and anti-apartheid activist a visa, and the investigation was unable to go forward. Tutu finally was allowed to enter Beit Hanoun this May, 18 months after the incident, and did not manage to conduct an investigation.

In the 2006 attacks, 19 Palestinian civilians, including children, were killed in a barrage of Israeli artillery shells. Said Tutu this week, "It is not too late for an independent, impartial and transparent investigation of the shelling to be held”........ "

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