As the Gaza death toll passed an estimated 1,000 people and concerns about the humanitarian situation inside Gaza grew, Egypt announced on Wednesday that it was making progress toward an interim cease-fire, with some officials predicting that one could be five to six days away. A senior Israeli defense official, Amos Gilad, arrived in Cairo on Thursday to continue the talks.
Also on Wednesday, nine Israeli human rights groups called for an investigation into whether Israeli officials had committed war crimes in Gaza. The groups say that tens of thousands of civilians in Gaza have nowhere to flee, the Gaza health system has collapsed, many people are without electricity and running water, and some are beyond the reach of rescue teams.
“This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion, which we ask be investigated, of the commission of war crimes,” the groups said in a news conference on the 19th day of the war.
The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Jakob Kellenberger, who spent Tuesday in Gaza City, agreed that the situation with civilians was dire but said that the principal hospital was making do with medical supplies, and that doctors, working around the clock, were mostly coping with the flow of the wounded.
“In general, they did not complain about the lack of equipment or material,” he said at a news conference in Jerusalem.
January 15, 2009 03:45 PM
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