Friday, November 24, 2006

Louise Arbour on Israel/Palestine

UN rights chief says Palestinians, Israelis feel abandoned by world

By The Associated Press and Haaretz Service

Both Israeli and Palestinian victims of violence feel abandoned by the world, the United Nations' top rights official said in remarks released
Friday.

Louise Arbour, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said her talks with both Palestinians and Israelis during a five-day visit to Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip made apparent "their profound sense of frustration and abandonment, including a perception that the international community is not doing enough to protect them."

UN officials said Arbour made the comments Thursday in Jerusalem.

Arbour said the situation was particularly acute in Palestinian territories.

"I left Gaza with a sense that the right of its people to physical integrity - their right to life - was particularly imperiled," Arbour said.

"Beit Hanoun is only one case in many," she said of the Israeli artillery attack on the north Gaza village on Nov. 8 that killed 19 members of an extended family in their sleep.

But she also criticized the firing of Palestinian Qassam missiles at Israelis as a breach of international law because they are only used "with the intent to kill and to spread fear without discrimination."
Read the full article

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