Sunday, January 25, 2009

Israeli commanders in crosshairs for war crimes§ionid=351020202

Israeli commanders in crosshairs for war crimes

PRESSTV, Sat, 24 Jan 2009

Israel has taken measures to protect the identity of Gaza war commanders as the case for war crimes in the populated area gains momentum.

Israeli authorities have issued an order banning the publication of the full name and photographs of the field commanders of the Gaza war, the Haaretz reported.

The measure has been taken amid concerns that international bodies and rights groups are planning to take legal actions against the high-ranking Israeli commanders who have been involved in the alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

Israel is accused of using controversial weapons against the civilian population of Gaza during its 23-day war against the Hamas government. Rights groups and international bodies say the Israeli acts violated international laws, constituting war crimes.

The Israeli Defense Ministry fears that interviews with army officers describing the destruction of civilian homes and other internationally unlawful acts could incriminate the military commanders.

The ban applies to the full name and photographs of officers from the rank of battalion commander down. The order also prohibits tying particular battlefield commanders to the destruction of particular areas in the coastal sliver.

According to the report, the decision had been made following the publication of reports that a lawsuit had been filed with a Dutch court against one of the Israeli brigade commanders after his identity was revealed by the media.

Tel Aviv launched Operation Cast Lead on December 27 to put an end to rocket attacks against southern Israeli towns. At least 1,330 Palestinians died during the offensive, while some 5,450 others were reported wounded.

The huge number of civilian casualties in the densely-populated coastal sliver has provoked widespread outcries around the globe among many nations as well as their leaders.


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