03/22/2011, 00.00
ISRAEL-PALESTINE

Israeli jets bomb Gaza. Israel accused of "ethnic cleansing"

At least 17 injured including seven children. The raid was in retaliation against Hamas rockets on Ashkelon. In Geneva, Israel is accused of operating "ethnic cleansing" through the policy of settlements in the occupied territories.

Tel Aviv (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Israeli aircraft bombed Gaza for at least an hour in retaliation for a series of missiles launched by Hamas three days ago on the coast of Ashkelon. The Hamas missiles caused no victims, instead the Israeli bombing wounded 17 people, including seven children and at least two women.

The military escalation coincides with a closed door discussion at the UN Council for Human Rights in Geneva, where Israel has been accused of operating "ethnic cleansing" with its policy of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories.

The Israeli bombardment targeted a training camp of the radical militia, some shops and a cement factory. Yesterday afternoon the Armed Forces of the Israeli army had carried out another bombing raid on what it claimed was a "tunnel" along the border, used to "smuggle terrorists" into Israel. In a statement the Israeli army said: "We suggest Hamas halt the escalation in the region and not to test the strength of the armed forces."

Meanwhile, yesterday in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council, prepared to debate and vote on a resolution condemning Israel for the settlements in the occupied territories that are expelling Palestinians from their lands.

UN investigator, academic Richard Falk, denounced the policy of settlements as "a form of ethnic cleansing."

Israel has accused Falk of being biased towards the Jewish state. Falk said that he would like the Council to ask the International Tribunal in The Hague to open an inquiry into the conduct of Israel in the occupied territories. The Israeli envoy to the UN, Aharon Leshno Yaar, has called Falk "an embarrassment to the United Nations."

 

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