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Israel and Hamas 'war crimes' in Gaza

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 15 September 2009

A UN investigation accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes during January’s Gaza conflict, in which hundreds of Palestinians and 13 Israelis died. Jonathan Miller reports.

Gaza conflict (credit:Reuters)

Judge Richard Goldstone has told the UN Security Council there could be war crimes charges against both sides in Gaza invasion.

A UN investigation said "actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly in some respects, crimes against humanity" were committed by Israel in January, while the firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas meant it was also responsible for crimes.

There is now a possibility that the allegations could be referred to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Kangaroo court

Israeli government spokesman, Mark Regev, told Channel 4 news that Israel has conducted a "whole series of independent investigations" which are continuing, but said "this report was born in sin and is the product, unfortunately, of an unholy union between propaganda and between untruth".

He said the panel was "simply wrong" and the nature of the investigation was "biased against my country."

When asked why Israel had not participated in the inquiry, he said: "One does not cooperate with a kangaroo court."

The UN investigator, Judge Goldstone, told Channel 4 News: "Apart from not being a kangaroo court, we were not a court at all. It was a fact finding mission."
"What some people have attempted to do is to shoot the messenger before even the message was delivered," he said, adding that he had "difficulty in understanding" why a "reasonable government" would object to the recommendation that the UN security council require Israel to launch their own "credible" investigation.

"The investigations that have been held have been military investigations, completely secret, behind closed doors," he said.

"As far as I know there has only been one criminal trial resulting, and that was for the theft of a credit card. To call that a credible, reasonable investigation is just not acceptable by any decent, let alone international standards."

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