The United States Monday slammed U.N. expert Richard Falk for his report on the Gaza war, saying he was biased in calling for an investigation on Israel's January offensive in the coastal enclave on grounds that it could be construed as a war crime, media reports say.
We've expressed our concern many times about the special rapporteur's views on dealing with that question, state department spokesman Robert Wood told a press briefing.
We've found the rapporteur's views to be anything but fair. We find them to be biased. We've made that very clear, he added.
Wood said the United States was aware it could not prevent an investigation, but stressed that if there were going to be such types of investigations, they should be non-biased.
In a report presented Monday to the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, Falk, a U.S. academic and the world body's special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, called for a probe to ascertain whether Israeli forces could differentiate between civilian and military targets in Gaza.
Failing to do so and launching the attacks was inherently unlawful, and would seem to constitute a war crime of the greatest magnitude under international law, Falk said in the report. He also pointed out that attacks were targeted at densely-populated areas.
Radhika Coomaraswamy, U.N. undersecretary-general since April 2006 and former head of Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission and U.N. special investigator on violence against women, presented another report to the Council, also Monday, on human rights violations by Israel and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) during the Gaza war.
The 43-page report enumerated many verified human rights atrocities during the three-week war between Israel and Hamas that ended January 18, including one in which Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers used an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield.
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