24 de enero de 2009

Ban Ki-moon “Appalled” at Israeli Attack on UN Compound

On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon toured the UN’s badly damaged headquarters in Gaza City. The compound was set aflame when Israel attacked it last week, burning hundreds of tons of desperately needed aid stored in warehouses. Ban Ki-moon said he was “appalled” at the destruction.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: “Ladies and gentlemen, I have seen only a fraction of the damage. This is shocking and alarming. This is heartbreaking scenes which I have seen, and I am deeply grieved by what I have seen today. I’m just appalled. I’m not able to describe how I’m feeling, having seen this site of the bombing of the United Nations compound. Everyone is now smelling this burning still. It is still burning. This, an outrageous and totally unacceptable attack against the United Nations.”

The UN has called for the attack to be investigated as a war crime. Hamas, meanwhile, has begun to re-assert control over the Gaza Strip. On Tuesday, thousands of Palestinians marched through Gaza in a Hamas-led rally.

Father Says Israeli Troops Fatally Shot Daughters

Meanwhile, grieving Palestinians continue to provide accounts of Israeli killings of innocent civilians. A Palestinian father told The Independent of London two of his daughters were shot dead and another critically wounded when Israeli troops opened fire. The father, Khaled Abed Rabbo, says his family was obeying an Israeli order to abandon their home, when a soldier fired from an Israeli tank. Two-year-old Amal and seven-year-old Suad were killed. The third daughter, four-year-old Samer, has been flown to a Belgian hospital with critical spinal wounds. Adeb Rabbo’s home was also nearly completely destroyed during Israel’s attack.

Israel Accused of Killing 14 in Gaza Village

Israel also faces new allegations of war crimes with a report of another mass killing on the Gaza village of Khuza’a. According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Israeli troops killed fourteen Palestinians in a day-long assault. Israeli forces reportedly shot Palestinians waving white flags and bulldozed others still in their homes. Witnesses also say Israeli forces opened fire on an ambulance trying to reach the victims and used white phosphorus during the attack.

Israeli Officials Demand Control of Gaza Reconstruction

Israeli officials are demanding nearly unfettered control over any reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Israel continues to control all of Gaza’s crossings and can block aid or commercial delivery at will. Israel has reportedly told diplomats it wants “project by project” approval on any reconstruction effort. It also wants a full list of any goods intended for Gaza and pledges from the UN to monitor every dollar spent.

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