UN commission head slept during testimony: activist

September 16th, 2009 - 4:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv, Sep 16 (DPA) An Israeli activist who gave evidence to a UN commission investigating Israel’s winter offensive in the Gaza Strip accused the head of the commission Wednesday of sleeping during his testimony.
“I was flown to testify in front of the committee at the UN headquarters in Geneva and during my testimony, which included raw video footage of children running from rocket fire, Richard Goldstone fell asleep,” Noam Bedein charged in a statement sent to journalists.

Bedein, who heads the Sderot Media Centre, a non-profit organization seeking to highlight the plight of residents of the Israeli town adjacent to the Gaza Strip which has borne the brunt of Palestinian rocket attacks, said the Goldstone commission was “a sham of an investigation”.

The commission report, released late Tuesday afternoon, concluded that Israel and Palestinian militant groups likely committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.

It said the Israeli military operation, launched Dec 27 last year, was “directed at the people of Gaza as a whole” to “punish” the population and that the army failed to investigate alleged violations properly.

It also said that Palestinian rocket fire into southern Israel, whiCh Israel said was the reason for launching its offensive, constituted “war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity” as the militants failed to distinguish between civilians and soldiers.

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