Thursday, January 31, 2008

Amnesty: Winograd report ignored Israeli war crimes

(Video) Human rights group says report published by commission of inquiry into 2006 Lebanon campaign 'deeply flawed', did not probe government, military policies that 'failed to discriminate between civilian population, Hizbullah combatants'

"In a press release issued on Thursday, the organization said the report failed to investigate "a crucial aspect of the war - the government policies and military strategies that failed to discriminate between the Lebanese civilian population and Hizbullah combatants and between civilian property and infrastructure and military targets."

Malcolm Smart, director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa Program, said "this (report) was yet another missed opportunity to address the policies and decisions behind the grave violations of international humanitarian law - including war crimes -committed by Israeli forces.

The indiscriminate killings of many Lebanese civilians not involved in the hostilities and the deliberate and wanton destruction of civilian properties and infrastructure on a massive scale were given no more than token consideration by the commission,” he said.

According to the human rights group, the Winograd Commission had the power to subpoena witnesses and recommend the prosecution of officials it found to have been responsible for "willful or negligent criminal conduct", but instead chose to "limit its work to reviewing military strategy and political decisions, and made no serious attempt to investigate violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, committed by Israeli forces or to recommend measures for holding those responsible for such violations to account."....."

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