UN team to investigate Beit Hanoun incident

Thursday, November 16, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva decided to dispatch a group to Gaza to investigate the Israel Defense Forces activity in Beit Hanoun that killed 19 innocent civilians. The meeting was requested by Bahrain and Pakistan on behalf of Moslems and Arabs.

A group of Arab nations and the Organization of Islamic Conference drafted a proposal and called on the 47-member Council to “dispatch a high level fact-finding mission urgently to Beit Hanoun and investigate human rights violations resulting from the recent Israeli assaults including the killings of civilians.”

The text expressed “shock at the horror of Israeli targeting and killing of Palestinian civilians in Beit Hanoun” and condemned the action.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Yitzhak Levanon, said that responsibility for the situation in Gaza lies with the Palestinians, who are “incessantly firing rockets toward civilian communities.”

“The Palestinians must change their policy from a path of violence to one of cooperation and peace,” he said. “We are not in need of a UN fact-finding team, but rather of a bold Palestinian decision to change its path of hatred and violence.”

The initial Israeli military investigation was attributed to a technical failure of the artillery radar for the incident.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has condemned Wednesday's Kassam attack on Sderot.

“The attacks on civilians are not allowed according to international humanitarian law; they also feed the cycle of violence which causes loss, suffering, and anguish,” the Organization said in a statement.

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