CAIRO: The International Federation of Human Rights called for investigating Israeli war crimes committed during its 23-day offensive on the Gaza Strip, Tanya Ward, the federation s vice president said Tuesday.
“Documentation is crucial at this stage, Ward said at a press conference held at the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, referring namely to the use of heavy artillery in densely populated areas, the use of white phosphorus on a civilian population and the high civilian death toll – 50 percent of the 1,300 killed were women and children.
The conference was held to announce the major observations and conclusions on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, by the joint delegation of the International Federation of Human Rights and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN).
Though articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention will be applied and the US will offer aid to the victims, Marc Shade-Poulson, director of EMHRN, remained skeptical of the outcome of the investigation.
The conference also tackled the EU s relationship with Israel, ruling out cutting all ties with it, although agreeing it would have a symbolic effect.
The delegation was set to visit Gaza yesterday, crossing over through the Egyptian Rafah border.
Ward said that inside sources in Gaza report human rights violations to the federation.
Speakers at the conference agreed that investigations are sometimes impeded by inaccurate information. War detainees are also hard to trace, they said, because they are constantly moved from one place to another.
Hafez Abu Saeda, secretary general of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), said that the observations are accurate and non-biased to either side. He said that international laws should be applied to either side and on any war crime or violation.
The rules of the Fourth Geneva Convention on war jurisdiction will be applied and the law decides what is permissible and what is not, Abu Saeda said.