09/23/2010, 00.00
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UN: Israeli raid on Gaza aid ships violates international laws

The raid killed nine pro-Palestinian activists and injured many others. The UN Commission considers the Israeli action "disproportionate" and full of "brutality" and condemns the blockade of Gaza. Israel accuses the report of being "partisan."

Geneva (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Israeli navy violated international law in its 31 May raid on the flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists who wanted to travel to Gaza. So says a report by the UN Human Rights Council, which defines the action of the Israeli commandos "disproportionate" and an "expression of an unacceptable level of brutality." In the attack 9 people of Turkish origin were killed and many others injured. Israel accuses the report of being "partisan" and full of inaccuracies.

The 56-page report, written by three experts in international law, says there is evidence to accuse Israel of the following crimes: "wilful killing; torture or inhuman treatment; wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health". The text also says that the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel since 2007, is "illegal" because of the humanitarian crisis that exists in the Strip.

The experts who drafted the report - collecting 100 testimonies - are: Karl Hudson-Phillips (Trinidad and Tobago), Judge at the International Criminal Court from 2003 to 2007, Desmond de Silva (UK), chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra lion in 2005, Mary Shanthi Dairiam (Malaysia), United Nations Development Programme.

Even before the report was ready, Israel had already branded the work of investigation as premature, since Tel Aviv itself was proceeding with an investigation. After the report’s publication, the Israeli Foreign Ministry described it as "partial and partisan, like the organisation that produced it" and that the investigations already carried out were more than enough.

According to Tel Aviv, the Israeli military have acted in self defence. Israel has already launched its own investigation on the accident and another was opened by UN Secretary General.

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