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Human Rights Watch: Wartime inquiries fall short

Aug. 10, 2010 9:27 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 11, 2010 3:59 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas has announced no serious investigations whatsoever for its involvement in widespread and serious allegations of unlawful conduct during fighting in the Gaza Strip, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

Israeli military investigations into the Gaza war have brought some results over the past 18 months but fall far short of addressing, the New York-based rights organization said in a statement calling on governments and the UN to increase their pressure on both parties to conduct credible and independent investigations.

"International pressure for investigations has pushed Israel, if not Hamas, to take some steps, but there can be no let-up," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The victims on all sides deserve justice."

In July 2010, the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank submitted a report to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which is not yet public. Israel also gave the secretary-general an update of its Gaza investigations, claiming "significant results."

Hamas has reportedly prepared a report on its investigations but has also not released it publicly. Ban is expected to pass the reports from Israel and the West Bank authorities to the General Assembly in the coming weeks.
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