They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Thursday, July 20, 2006

War crimes suspected, says UN rights chief

The Australian

The scale of killing and maiming of civilians in Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territory pointed to possible war crimes, the UN human rights chief said yesterday.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said international humanitarian law was clear on the need to protect non-combatants in any conflict. "This obligation is also expressed in international criminal law, which defines war crimes and crimes against humanity," she said.

"The scale of the killings in the region, and their predictability, could engage the personal criminal responsibility of those involved, particularly those in a position of command and control," she said, without directly accusing anyone.

In a statement, she expressed "grave concern over the continued killing and maiming of civilians in Lebanon, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory".

Ms Arbour, a former Canadian Supreme Court judge and war crimes prosecutor, said the "indiscriminate shelling" of cities and the bombing of sites where civilians would suffer were unacceptable.

Israel air strikes have accounted for most of the 327 deaths in Lebanon in the eight-day-old war which began after Hezbollah guerillas kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. The Lebanese Shia militia has rained rockets on northern Israeli towns and villages. Twenty-nine Israeli civilians have died in the violence. Link