Rep. Dennis Kucinich has parted ways with his Democratic colleagues and called for a United Nations investigation into what he calls Israel’s “disproportionate” attacks on Gaza.
Referring to Israel’s air assault on Hamas targets in Gaza, the Ohio legislator issued a statement saying: “All this was, and is, disproportionate, indiscriminate mass violence in violation of international law. Israel is not exempt from international law and must be held accountable.”
The perpetrators of the rocket barrages aimed at Israeli population centers should be brought to justice, said Kucinich, adding that Israel “cannot create a war against an entire people in order to attempt to bring to justice the few who are responsible.”
Hamas, which controls Gaza, resumed its rocket attacks on Israel nearly two months ago, toward the end of a recently expired truce.
More than 360 Palestinians have been killed, most of them members of Hamas security forces but at least 64 of them civilians, according to the United Nations. Rockets launched from Gaza have killed at least three Israeli civilians and a soldier.
Kucinich said he had sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking for an independent inquiry, asserting that the Israeli attacks amounted to collective punishment, which he said was a violation of the Geneva Convention.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats have placed the blame for the violence squarely on Hamas, The Hill newspaper reported.
In March, the House voted 404-1 in favor of a resolution condemning Hamas and other Palestinian groups for rocket attacks on Israel and their use of Palestinians as human shields. Kucinich was not present for the vote.
“Peace between Israelis and Palestinians cannot result from daily barrages of rocket and mortar fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza,” Pelosi said in a statement on Monday.
“Hamas and its supporters must understand that Gaza cannot and will not be allowed to be a sanctuary for attacks on Israel.”
She also said the U.S. “must continue to stand strongly with its friend and democratic ally.”
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