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Switzerland condemns Israel over attacks

Published on 16/01/2009

GENEVA - Switzerland condemned Israel Thursday for its shelling of a UN compound and a Red Crescent hospital in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli bombing hit the Al-Quds hospital and a UN agency’s headquarters in the troubled Palestinian territory.

Switzerland’s Federal Department for Foreign Affairs said in a statement that "attacks against humanitarian organisations, hospitals and medical staff amount to a violation of international humanitarian law".

The statement repeated calls for parties involved in the conflict to halt the fighting and respect UN Security Council Resolution 1860.

Adopted by the council earlier in January, Resolution 1860 calls for an immediate ceasefire leading to the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

But the call was ignored by Israel and Gaza’s ruling Islamist Hamas movement.

The Swiss government also said that an independent inquiry into potential international law violations in Gaza should be set up.

Switzerland is the trustee of the Geneva Conventions, the rules for governing the law of conflict, which allows it to enforce its provisions.

[AFP / Expatica]