KUCINICH CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT UNITED NATIONS INQUIRY ON GAZA
Israeli government attacks civilians in violation of international law
Washington, Dec 29, 2008 -
U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich today released the following statement as Israeli attacks on Gaza have gone into a third day with a pending ground invasion of Gaza by Israel:
“Today I sent a letter to Secretary General Ban ki-Moon urging the United Nations to establish an independent inquiry of Israel's war against Gaza. The attacks on civilians represent collective punishment, which is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/92.htm). The perpetrators of attacks against Israel must also be brought to justice, but Israel cannot create a war against an entire people in order to attempt to bring to justice the few who are responsible. The Israeli leaders know better. The world community, which has been very supportive of Israel's right to security and its right to survive, also has a right to expect Israel to conduct itself in adherence to the very laws which support the survival of Israel and every other nation,” Kucinich said.
“Israel is leveling Gaza to strike at Hamas, just as they pulverized south Lebanon to strike at Hezbollah. Yet in both cases civilian populations were attacked, countless innocents killed or injured, infrastructure targeted and destroyed, and civil law enforcement negated. All this was, and is, disproportionate, indiscriminate mass violence in violation of international law. Israel is not exempt from international law and must be held accountable. It is time for the UN to not just call for a cease-fire, but for an inquiry as to Israel's actions.”
According to published news reports, since the commencement of aerial strikes, over 300 Palestinians have been killed and approximately 1,400 have been wounded. The dead include 20 children under the age of 16--nearly half of them killed while on a school bus, according to the United Nations--and 9 women. The attack aggravated a humanitarian crisis wrought by the Israeli-imposed blockade of food, fuel, and medical supplies. With a population of 1.5 million people, the Gaza Strip is among the most densely populated territories in the world.