Newweapons Commitee asks for re-opening investigations to UNHCR

Open letter to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. Published on 23 Maj 2007.

Abstract: The UN Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights violations in Lebanon was established on August 11, 2006 as “an independent body with the mandate to establish facts, not a court nor a judiciary body which aimed to assess a crime”.

The Commission, in its closing report in November 2006, has thus made a severe judgment about the IDF breaches of the international conventions, the illegal use of some ammunitions and the enforcement of collective punishment on civilians. Nonetheless, it also stated (point 24°) that "None of the weapons known to have been used by IDF are illegal per se under international humanitarian law". And that only "the way in which the weapons were used in some cases transgresses the law. The Commission addressed more specifically the use of cluster munitions" and suggested starting a procedure for the banning of what are in effect mines (“…promote urgent action to include cluster munitions to the list of weapons banned under international law”).

The Newweapons Commitee asks for re-opening investigations into the weapons utilized by the Israeli Defence Forces in the war in Lebanon in the summer of 2006 and in the attacks on Gaza in 2006. It also requests to establish 2 panels of independent international, Lebanese and Palestinian medical doctors and scientists: one with the task of reconsidering claims that illegal weapons were used and the other with the task of performing field testing for the assessment of genotoxic and other health risks in the south of Lebanon.

Read the full text: UN_concil_Human_rights-en.pdf

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