Arab MK Agbaria wants to join UN Gaza probe

Hadash's Afo Agbaria asks Ban to let him assist investigation, as he saw results of "brutal" operation.

afo agbaria 248 88 (photo credit: Courtesy of the Knesset)
afo agbaria 248 88
(photo credit: Courtesy of the Knesset)
MK Afo Agbaria (Hadash) on Wednesday wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, asking that he be allowed to assist the UN investigation into alleged war crimes during the IDF's Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. International prosecutor Richard Goldstone and his team of investigators arrived in Gaza via Egypt two days ago to begin the probe. Agbaria wrote to Ban saying that he had seen with his own eyes the results of the "brutal and merciless" IDF operation. "As a member of the Knesset, and as someone who worked in medicine for more than thirty years in leading medical establishments in Israel, I request that you let me take an active part in the UN's investigative delegation," he wrote. "I want to contribute my experience and medical understanding to the committee," he added. The MK said that during his visit to the Gaza Strip following the December-January operation, he saw "not just the destruction that the Israeli army left behind, but also wounded Palestinians in Gaza hospitals with extraordinary burns." He claimed that the burns constituted "a clear indication of the fact that Israel used prohibited weapons, under both international humanitarian law and international criminal law." Agbaria also implored the committee not to obscure "the war crimes and the horrors that Israel carried out during the military assault on Gaza," and said he hoped the "final result" of the investigation would "bring Israeli war crimes to trial." He ended his letter by criticizing the Israeli government's decision not to cooperate with the probe.