U.N. investigator: Evidence of Israeli war crimes


JERUSALEM (JTA) — There is evidence that Israel committed war crimes during its operation in the Gaza Strip, a United Nations official said.

U.N. investigator Richard Falk, whose official title is U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, called for an independent inquiry into the issue on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Falk, who is Jewish, compared Israel’s operation in civilian areas and its sealing of Gaza’s borders to the Warsaw Ghetto.

"To lock people into a war zone is something that evokes the worst kind of international memories of the Warsaw Ghetto and sieges that occur unintentionally during a period of wartime," he said.

Falk added that the entire civilian population has likely been scarred for life by the operation and that all the residents of Gaza can be considered casualties of the Israeli assault.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appointed Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann to look into issues relating to potential legal suits against Israel or Israeli officials over strikes against civilians in Gaza.

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