Gaza counterclaim

The debate over Israel and Gaza continues today in the Australian Financial Review:

Antony Loewenstein (“NGOs challenge Gaza blame“, Letters, February 9) persists in the error that non-government organisation assertions about Israel are beyond challenge.

He omits to mention that last Thursday the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs retracted an earlier claim that an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza city of Jabaliya last month hit a school run by a UN agency. The UN has now confirmed that the school was not struck and that no one taking shelter inside the school was killed or injured. Heavy fighting had taken place outside the school, as Israel had contended.

As for claims on phosphorous, Peter Herby, head of the mines-arms unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross, confirmed to Associated Press on January 13 that Israel was using phosphorus only as an illuminant or smokescreen, which is not illegal. “We have no evidence to suggest it’s being used in any other way,” Herby said.

Robert M Goot
Executive Council of Australian Jewry
Sydney NSW

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