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Purveyor's Journal
Posted by Purveyor in Israel/Palestine
Tue Sep 29th 2009, 05:12 PM
GENEVA (Reuters) - A lack of accountability for war crimes committed in the Middle East has reached "crisis point," undermining any hope for peace in the region, a United Nations human rights investigator charged on Tuesday.

Richard Goldstone, a former U.N. war crimes prosecutor who led a U.N. inquiry into the Gaza conflict, called on Israeli and Hamas authorities to conduct open and credible investigations into atrocities during their December-January war in the strip.

"A culture of impunity in the region has existed for too long," Goldstone told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

"The lack of accountability for war crimes and possible war crimes against humanity has reached a crisis point; the ongoing lack of justice is undermining any hope for a successful peace process and reinforcing an environment that fosters violence."

Israel says its December-January offensive against the Gaza strip was intended to stop militants firing rockets at Israel. Israeli human rights group B'Tselem says 773 of 1,387 Palestinians killed were civilians. Israel says 709 combatants and 295 civilians were killed. Thirteen Israelis, 10 soldiers and three civilians, died.

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REUTERS: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/09/29/...
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Purveyor
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