Page last updated at 13:51 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010

Gaza: UN chief Ban Ki-moon rules evidence 'incomplete'

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
The UN chief had asked for submissions by a Friday deadline

There is not yet enough evidence to say whether Israel and the Palestinians are complying with UN demands to probe the Gaza conflict, the head of the UN says.

In a report, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said submissions by both parties remained incomplete.

He said a ruling was not possible as Israel's investigations was ongoing and the Palestinians only began recently.

They were asked to respond by Friday to last year's Goldstone report, which accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes.

"No determination can be made on the implementation of the (UN) resolution by the parties concerned," Mr Ban said in a report to the UN General Assembly.

The General Assembly has demanded that both Israel and Hamas launch independent investigations into their conduct during the 22-day Israeli operation which began in December 2008.


Israel and the Palestinian Authority Both submitted dossiers to the UN before the end of January, and Israel says its army has disciplined two officers for their conduct during the operation.

Goldstone accused Israel of using "disproportionate force" in Gaza.

Children in Gaza Strip
Goldstone accused Israel of using "disproportionate force" in Gaza

A former international war crimes prosecutor, Mr Goldstone investigated the offensive and said crimes had been committed on both sides.

He accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure during the conflict, in which human rights groups say about 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died.

Israel has vigorously denied the conclusions of the Goldstone report, calling it a "distortion".

The Palestinian Authority which runs the Palestinian controlled area of the West Bank set a high-level commission to probe the allegations and submit its conclusions to Mr Ban.

Hamas, the militant Islamist movement that runs Gaza, has rejected the criticism that it committed war crimes in the conflict.

Hamas insists it did not target civilians during the war in Gaza a year ago. It argues that the hundreds of missiles launched at Israel during an offensive on the Gaza Strip were targeted at the Israeli military.

Hamas's indiscriminate firing of rockets into populated areas in Israel is widely seen as a war crime.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that Ban Ki-moon had praised Israel for diligently following up on allegations made against it. This was based on an Associated Press dispatch that proved to be incorrect and the line has been removed from our report.

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Jerusalem Post Hamas 'regrets' civilian deaths - 3 hrs ago
MSNBC UN chief can't judge if Gaza probes are 'credible' - 6 hrs ago
Reuters India Not clear if Gaza war probes are credible - U.N.'s Ban - 28 hrs ago
Al Jazeera UN unsure if Gaza probes set up - 32 hrs ago
Melbourne Age Israel probing Gaza charges: UN chief - 34 hrs ago

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