Tuesday, February 10, 2009

UN Secretary General Orders Inquiry into Gaza Attacks

International Herald Tribune, February 10, 2009 - ....Ban said he was setting up a U.N. board of inquiry "into incidents involving death and damage at U.N. premises in Gaza."

The board will be headed by Ian Martin of Britain, who recently stepped down as the U.N. envoy to Nepal, and will include legal advisers and a military expert. Ban said it should start work immediately and report to him within a month.

John Ging, who heads operations in Gaza for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which helps Palestinian refugees, told reporters in a videoconference Monday that more than 50 U.N. installations were damaged during the Israeli air and ground offensive that began Dec. 27.

Ban has expressed anger at what he called "outrageous attacks against U.N. facilities" in Gaza, including several schools and the UNRWA compound in Gaza City. He said last month that he expects "a full explanation of each incident" from Israel and that those responsible be held accountable.

Ban said he informed both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority about the inquiry. "I do not have any doubt that they will cooperate fully," he said....

See also: Amnesty International: UN investigation should have a broader mandate.

See also: Statement by Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, upon her return from a tour of Gaza, February 9, 2009, "Children demand answers and we must deliver now."

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