Egypt has refused entry into the Gaza
Strip to members of an international committee in charge of investigating
Israeli war crimes.
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) set up the
Four French and Norwegian lawyers comprise the committee. The ICC had
earlier started preliminary analysis into alleged Israeli war crimes in the
French and Norwegian lawyers from Amnesty International on Thursday had
attempted to enter the impoverished Palestinian sliver through Egypt's Rafah
crossing with Gaza.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, as well as B'Tselem, and the
Palestinian Center for Human Rights, have filed a lawsuit with the
International Criminal Court (ICC) against alleged Israeli war crimes in
The criminal case is expected to focus on the Israeli atrocities, including
charges of using disproportionate force, white phosphorous bombs and
depleted uranium in the densely populated area.
The group intended to collect evidence and testimonials on "Operation Cast
Lead" which killed over 1,300 Palestinian and wounded nearly 5,500 others, a
large number of them women and children.
The evidence was to be submitted to the International Court before Sunday,
Egyptian authorities, however, prevented the four member group from crossing
the border, arguing that for now only displaced Palestinians can enter the
territory thought the crossing.
Egypt has been cooperating closely with Israel in closing the Rafah border
crossing in the past 19 months and particularly during the three week long
Hamas has also sharply criticized Cairo for refusing to keep the crossing
open to wounded Palestinian people despite the dire humanitarian situation
in the heavily bombarded coastal strip.
The country has won Israel's praise for not allowing people's basic needs
and arms from reaching the Palestinian government in Gaza.