Annan warns of 'pattern of violations of international law' in Qana report

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile; JURIST news archive] said in a report Monday that Israel's July 30 air strike on the Lebanese village of Qana [JURIST report] may be part of "a pattern of violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed during the course of the current hostilities" in the ongoing Middle East conflict [JURIST news archive]. Annan's report called for an independent and more thorough investigation into the Qana bombing, which killed 28 civilians, citing investigation requests by the League of Arab States [advocacy website, in Arabic], the Non-Aligned Movement [advocacy website; BBC profile], and Lebanon. Last week, the UN Security Council [official website] asked Annan for a report [press release] after he had the opportunity to look into the Qana situation, but Annan said there was not enough time to conduct an actual probe into the attack since access to the village is difficult.

Letters from Israel [JURIST news archive] and Lebanon [JURIST news archive] were included with Annan's report. Israel wrote that the Qana attack was a mistake but stressed that military forces were unaware that civilians were inside the building and noted Hezbollah's use of civilians as human shields. Lebanon submitted a letter from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) [official website] which accused Israel of several violations of humanitarian law and said the civilians found in Qana were unable to escape due to destroyed roads, or they were too old, poor or sick to leave. AP has more.

8/10/06 10:19 AM ET - Annan's report [PDF text] is now available online.

 

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