"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, July 21, 2006

War crimes by Israel in GAZA - UN Report


The full text of a statement issued on Wednesday on the conditions in Gaza can be found at the link ... here are extracts ;

"Following the events of 25 June, including the capture of Corporal Gilad Shalit, Israel has carried out numerous military interventions in the Gaza Strip. According to UN sources, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed, including 18 children. Almost 400 Palestinians have been injured, including 108 children. With limited exceptions, Israel has sealed Gaza's borders. Some patients returning home to Gaza after medical treatment abroad, and some patients seeking treatment abroad, have been unable to pass through the Rafah crossing: while waiting, nine Palestinians have died. On the night of 27-28 June, Gaza's only electricity power station was attacked and incapacitated."

Following the attack, the lack of power for pumps is causing a serious water shortage, and affecting sewage disposal, for tens of thousands of households throughout the Gaza Strip. There are reports of sewage leakage, as well as a reduction in municipal waste collection and disposal. Reported cases of diarrhoea have increased by 163% compared to the same period last year. It is possible that communicable diseases, like cholera and poliomyelitis, will re-emerge. Reduced hospital services are dependent upon generators that are unsuitable for constant, long-term use.

The right to the highest attainable standard of health includes access to medical services and also access to adequate sanitation and safe drinking water. The destruction of Gaza's electricity power station is profoundly inconsistent with the health and safety of all civilians living in Gaza, especially the young, sick, infirm and elderly, as well as their right to the highest attainable standard of health, enshrined in the International Bill of Rights and other international human rights instruments.

Moreover, the destruction of Gaza's electricity power station may be a violation of international humanitarian law (sometimes known as the 'laws of war').

The basic rule of international humanitarian law is that parties to a conflict must always distinguish between combatants and civilians. Attacks can only be directed against combatants and military objectives. "

"If the attack on the electricity power station was not in conformity with international humanitarian law it amounts to a war crime. For example, if the attack were disproportionate, it was a war crime.

In these circumstances, I strongly recommend that, as a matter of urgency, an independent enquiry be made to determine whether or not the recent attack on Gaza's electricity power station was a war crime."

News reports at the time ...

"Israeli warplanes fired at least nine missiles at Gaza's only power station, cutting electricity to 65 percent of the Gaza Strip, engineers at the station said. The station's three functioning turbines and a gasoline reservoir were engulfed in flames, raising the specter of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where water pumps are powered by electricity."

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