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News number: 8711051231

15:17 | 2009-01-24


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Israelis Struggle to Escape War Crime Prosecution

TEHRAN (FNA)- Israel is struggling to support IDF soldiers and commanders facing court cases related to war crimes during the Israeli military offensive in Gaza.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced on Friday a draft resolution supporting IDF members facing war crimes has been prepared by the defense ministry, ministry of justice and state prosecutor.

The draft resolution would be discussed during Israeli cabinet meeting on Sunday, press tv reported.

"The Israeli government bears the responsibility for sending IDF troops on missions, as well as for defending civilians, and as such is obligated to grant its full support," Barak said.

He emphasized no officer who participated in the Operation Cast Lead would face punishment.

"There is no place for automatic backlash at the end of every operation," he added.

The IDF also ordered the media to avoid publishing the names of the officers who participated in the operation fearing that international war crimes lawsuits might be filed against them.

Earlier on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert set up a special team, headed by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, to collect evidence related to operations in the Gaza Strip, which could be used to defend military commanders against potential lawsuits.

The Israeli military had earlier acknowledged its use of phosphorus bombs during the recent onslaught against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

According to a military report, Israeli forces pounded the residential areas in the Gaza Strip with at least twenty phosphorus bombs during the offensive.

White phosphorus, classified as a "chemical weapon" by the US intelligence, is an incendiary material that causes horrific burns, severe injuries or death when it comes in contact with skin.