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U.N. Criticizes Israeli Army for Use of Tear Gas at Clinic

The Security Council criticized the Israeli army Tuesday for using tear gas last week against a U.N. administered maternity clinic in the Gaza Strip.

A statement issued by the council said it members were “dismayed” that the penalty imposed on the officer who threw the tear-gas grenade had been commuted.

The officer had been sentenced to 10 day in jail for the incident, but the penalty was late reduced to a 21-day suspended sentence.

The reduction in the sentence came after the officer asked for leniency, contending that Palestinians had been throwing stones from the clinic, which is run by the United Nations Religious and Works Agency, known as UNRWA.

Pierre-Louis Blanc, the French ambassador currently serving as president of the Security Council, released the statement after consultation with council members, including the United State

The June 12 incident, in which 60 children were treated for tear-gas inhalation, has been condemned by both U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar and the White House.

Pointing out that “several innocent Palestinian women and children were wounded” by the grenade, the Security Council called on Israel “abide by its obligations” under the Four Geneva Convention of 1949, which relates to protection of civilians in occupied territories.

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