UN to probe Gaza bombings

February 13th, 2009 - 4:53 pm ICT by ANI  

Jerusalem, Feb 13 (ANI): UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said that a team would leave soon for the Middle East to review all incidents that resulted in death or injuries to United Nations staff during the Israeli raids on Gaza strip.

In a statement issued by Ban Ki-Moons spokesperson on Thursday night, the UN Secretary-General expected full cooperation of all parties concerned.

A spokeswoman for Israels mission to the UN said it had no immediate comment on the investigation, the Jerusalem Post.

The team, led by Ian Martin, will review all incidents that resulted in death or injuries to UN staff or damage to UN facilities between December 27 and January 19.

Martin, a Briton, was formerly the head of Amnesty International and has held a variety of human rights posts at the UN, most recently in Nepal.

He will be joined by two legal experts, Larry Johnson of the US and Sinha Basnayake of Sri Lanka, as well as by military expert Lt. Col. Patrick Eichenberger of Switzerland.

Ban, who has repeatedly condemned the attacks as outrageous, initially said he would wait for an Israeli investigation, but announced that he was appointing his own investigators earlier this week after repeated requests from the Palestinians for an independent investigation into the bombings.

The UN admitted last week that a clerical error prompted officials to wrongly accuse Israel of shelling a refugee-packed school run by its Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

The IDF shell landed outside the school, killing people in the street but not inside the UN compound.

The strike drew sharp criticism within the UN and prompted calls for Israelis to be prosecuted for war crimes until the initial account was called into question in a Toronto Globe and Mail article, in which survivors of the attack said the school had not been hit. (ANI)

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