News: Desmond Tutu: "Israel raid could be war crime"

Beit Hanoun shelling

A report to the UN Human Rights Council on Israel's shelling of Beit Hanoun in Gaza almost two years ago says it may have been a war crime. The report compiled by Archbishop Desmond Tutu casts doubt on Israel's explanation that the shelling resulted from a flawed artillery firing system. It calls on Israel to pay compensation to the victims, 19 of whom were killed.

The Israeli military, which was at the time trying to prevent rocket attacks by Palestinian militants, says its own inquiry shows the shelling of Beit Hanoun was caused by technical errors, but Archbishop Tutu's report is sceptical.Mr Tutu says there is evidence of a disproportionate and reckless disregard for Palestinian civilian life, contrary to international humanitarian law, which raises concerns that a war crime may have been committed.

"In the absence of a well-founded explanation from the Israeli military - who is in sole possession of the relevant facts - the mission must conclude that there is a possibility that the shelling of Beit Hanoun constituted a war crime," his report to the UN Human Rights Council said.

The report calls for an independent investigation into the shelling. (Full)

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Picture courtesy BBC/Getty Images


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