16 Sep 2009

War crimes by both sides in Gaza - UN report

7:02 am on 16 September 2009

A United Nations investigation has found evidence that both Israeli and Palestinian forces committed war crimes during the recent Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The report accuses Israel of deliberately using disproportionate force in the three-week operation in December and January, the BBC reports.

It also condemned rocket attacks by Palestinian groups, which sparked the Israeli offensive.

Palestinians and human rights groups say more than 1,400 Gazans were killed, but Israel puts the figure at 1,166. Three Israeli civilians and 10 Israeli soldiers were also killed.

The report said Israel must be held accountable for its actions during the war, a process which could lead to the conflict being referred to the International Criminal Court.

Israel had refused to co-operate with the UN investigation, led by South African judge Richard Goldstone, and described the report as one-sided.