Meanwhile the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, accused Israel Monday of committing war crimes in Gaza. Falk called for an independent inquiry to examine possible war crimes committed by both Israel and Hamas.
Richard Falk: The overall ratio of deaths 1,434 on the Palestinian side, 13 on the Israeli side, is suggestive of the one-sidedness of the military encounter, and provides a basis for challenging the legality of initiating a military assault with modern weaponry against an essentially defenseless society.
Richard Falk also accused Israel of preventing Palestinian civilians from fleeing the military assault.
Richard Falk: This indictment of Israeli tactics is strongly reinforced by a feature of the military operations that is unique in contemporary warfare: namely, coercively confining the Gazan civilian population to the combat zone during the Israeli military operations. This effectively denied to all Palestinians in Gaza the option of becoming refugees. Such a war policy should be treated as a distinct and new crime against humanity, and should be formally recognized as such, and explicitly prohibited."
Israel dismissed Falks report saying it was part of a pattern of demonizing Israel by the United Nations. The UN's special rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier de Schutter, also criticized Israel's attack on Gaza and suggested Israeli officials could be tried outside of Israel if Israel does not investigate possible war crimes.
Olivier de Schutter: We would like to emphasise that the primary responsibility of ensuring the respect of international humanitarian law, lies with the national justice system. Should the Israeli military or civilian justice system adequately and transparently investigate allegations of violations of the laws of war and if necessary prosecute those responsible, the IDF has no reason to fear that its officers will face indictments in foreign jurisdictions.
On Monday, Israeli Army spokesperson Major Avital Leibovitch defended Israel�s actions and disputed a report that Israeli troops targeted Palestinian medical facilities.
Major Avital Leibovitch: The IDF has decided to open a thorough investigation, investigation was not complete yet, and when it will be complete we will be more than happy to share the details with the public. We know that we can say today for a fact that the IDF soldiers were instructed to take very good care of the different medical facilities and medical vehicles in the area in Gaza.
Parents of Tristan Anderson Call For Israel to Take Responsibility For Shooting
In other news from the region, the parents of the American peace activist Tristan Anderson flew to Israel yesterday to see their son who remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma. Israeli troops shot Anderson in the head with a high-velocity tear gas canister. Tristan�s mother, Nancy Anderson said: �We are scared and really still in shock. To shoot peaceful demonstrators is really horrifying to us. What we want to ask is that the Israeli government publicly take full responsibility for the shooting of our son. The words of Nancy Anderson.
Israeli Troops Shoot US Activist in West Bank ..
An American activist from Oakland, California was critically injured Friday when Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas canister directly at his head during a weekly nonviolent protest against the wall in the West Bank village of N�alin. Thirty-seven-year-old Tristan Anderson is the fourth member of the International Solidarity Movement to be critically injured or killed by the Israeli military since 2003.
Jonathan Pollack of the ISM: He was shot at directly with a tear gas projectile, with an extended range tear gas projectile from about fifty to sixty meters. And the impact caused several condensed fractures to his skull and collapsation of his eye socket. He was operated on in the hospital a few hours later in critical condition, and large portions of his frontal lobe had to be removed, because it was splattered with bone fragments as a result of the impact of the tear gas canister.
During their weekly demonstrations since last April, four unarmed N'alin residents have been killed and over 400 injured by the Israeli Defense Forces.