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Israel Wants Law of War Changed

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by X-PASTER, Oct 22, 2009.


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    Oct 22, 2009
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    Israel Wants Law of War Changed

    ISRAEL'S Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed his government to draw up proposals to amend the international laws of war after a damning UN report on its war in Gaza.

    The security cabinet did not, however, discuss calls overnight made by ministers for an internal investigation into the 22-day offensive at the turn of the year that killed some 1400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, an official said.

    "The prime minister instructed the relevant government bodies to examine a worldwide campaign to amend the international laws of war to adapt them to the spread of global terrorism," his office said.

    Israel was dealt a heavy diplomatic blow with the adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of the report that accused both Israel and the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip of war crimes.

    Israel's closest allies, the United States, Britain and France urged it to investigate war crime allegations raised by the fact-finding missions headed by Richard Goldstone, a former international war crimes prosecutor.

    Defence Minister Ehud Barak backed Mr Netanyahu's call for a diplomatic campaign, saying that Israel should propose changes in the international laws of war "in order to facilitate the war on terrorism", an official quoted him as saying.

    Mr Netanyahu dismissed the Goldstone report on the Gaza war and vowed that Israel would not give up its right of self-defence.

    "I want to make it clear: no one will weaken our ability and right to defend our children, citizens and communities."

    Mr Goldstone, the respected South African jurist who led the UN fact-finding team, recommended that the conclusions of the report be forwarded to the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court at The Hague if the two sides fail to conduct credible investigations into the conflict within six months.

    Israel has slammed it as a "diplomatic farce" and warned that it risked sinking the stalled Middle East peace process.

    Mr Goldstone, who has faced a storm of personal attacks inside Israel since the report's publication, dismissed the argument and urged the Jewish state to comply with the recommendation to investigate the war.

    "It's a shallow, utterly false allegation," Mr Goldstone said during a meeting with a group of rabbis in the United States, remarks aired on Monday by Israeli public radio.

    "What peace process are they talking about? There isn't one. The Israeli foreign minister doesn't want one," Mr Goldstone said, referring to ultra-nationalist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.