U.N. rights envoy sees Israeli war crimes in Gaza
Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:24pm EDT
GENEVA, March 19 (Reuters) - A United Nations human rights investigator said on Thursday that Israel's massive military assault on densely populated Gaza appeared to constitute a grave war crime.
Richard Falk, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said the Geneva Conventions required warring forces to distinguish between military targets and surrounding civilians.
"If it is not possible to do so, then launching the attacks is inherently unlawful and would seem to constitute a war crime of the greatest magnitude under international law," Falk said.
"On the basis of the preliminary evidence available, there is reason to reach this conclusion," he wrote in an annual report submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council.