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U.N. team completes Gaza ‘war crimes’ mission

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The head of a United Nations team investigating possible Israeli and Hamas war crimes said that Israel is not cooperating with his committee.

Richard Goldstone, who with his team completed a fact-finding trip to Gaza Thursday, said he was amazed at the damage inflicted during Operation Cast Lead, Ynet reported.

Goldstone announced that he would hold two days of public hearings this month in Gaza, and said he wanted to hold hearings in Israel if the Jewish state would comply.

Goldstone, who is Jewish, also investigated war crimes in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. 

Gaza businessmen on Wednesday told Goldstone that they wanted to be compensated by Israel for damage to their businesses during the military offensive in Gaza.

Meanwhile an Israeli-Arab lawmaker asked the United Nations to help in the investigation in a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, according to reports. Afo Agbaria of the Arab Hadash party said he had seen with his own eyes the results of the "brutal and merciless" IDF operation, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Agbaria criticized Israel’s decision not to cooperate in the investigation and said he hoped the U.N. would "bring Israeli war crimes to trial."
 

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