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Resources updated between Monday, October 05, 2015 and Sunday, October 11, 2015

October 11, 2015

Police inspect the scene of a terror attack on route 65 in northern Israel, on October 11, 2015

Four Israelis were wounded Sunday evening in a knife attack on Route 65 at the entrance to the kibbutz of Gan Shmuel, near the northern city of Hadera. One of the four, a 19-year-old female soldier, is in serious condition.

The terrorist, a 20-year-old Israeli Arab from Umm al-Fahm, was arrested by police at the scene. He was also injured in the attack, the second on Israelis on Sunday.

The Shin Bet identified the suspect as Alaa Raed Ahmad Ziwad of Umm al-Fahm, originally from the village of Silat al-Harithiya, who received Israeli citizenship through his father's family unification.

According to Army Radio, the attacker first ran over the 19-year-old woman, before getting out of the car and stabbing her and the three other victims.

The woman was evacuated to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, with stab wounds in her head and upper torso.

Two other victims, a 14-year-old girl with moderate wounds and a 20-year-old man who was lightly hurt, both arrived at the hospital under their own steam. A 45-year-old man also sustained hand wounds in the attack.

"When we arrived at the scene we saw, in the trench beside the highway, an unconscious 19-year-old woman with multiple wounds. We gave her lifesaving first-aid treatment including CPR, bandages and fluids and rushed her to the hospital," Magen David Adom paramedics Khaled Mura'i and Yehuda Haim said. "A 45-year-old man received medical treatment at the site and was taken to the hospital as well."

Channel 2 said that security forces carried out searches of the area to ensure that the terrorist did not have any accomplices. Police closed the stretch of Route 65 where the attack took place shortly after the incident.

According to Channel 10 television, security forces initially suspected a second terrorist may have fled the scene with a weapon belonging to one of the victims. Police later reported that no weapon was taken.

A video taken at the scene and posted online claimed to show the vehicle of the attacker at the scene.

Earlier in the day, a police officer was hurt when a Palestinian woman attempted to detonate an improvised car bomb near Jerusalem, and two Israelis were lightly hurt in separate rock-throwing attacks in the West Bank.

Israeli Woman, 19, Badly Hurt In Knife Attack Near Hadera Document

October 10, 2015

Police standing by the body of a Palestinian terrorist near Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem

Two Jewish men were wounded in a terror stabbing Saturday morning near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, police reported.

Police shot and killed the attacker at the scene on the capital's Hanevi'im Street. According to police, the assailant was a 16-year-old Arab male.

Emergency workers provided initial medical treatment to a 62-year-old man in moderate condition and a 65-year-old man with light wounds at the site of the attack. Both victims were evacuated to Jerusalem hospitals for further treatment.

Police reported that during the incident, officers stationed at a nearby post arrived at the scene and saw the two wounded victims. The security forces then noticed the suspected perpetrator and called for him to relinquish the knife in his possession. The police shot the terrorist after he failed to yield to the officers' calls and ran toward them brandishing the weapon.

Following the attack, a number of Palestinian rioters gathered at the scene of the stabbing. Police officers attempted to subdue the disturbance using smoke grenades.

The latest terrorist incident comes amid a wave of violence that has raised concerns over a possible third intifada if tension continue to further escalate.

Overnight between Friday and Saturday, Israeli Border Police officers shot a Palestinian who had initiated fire at the forces during a riot at the Shuafat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem. The Palestinian man died from the gunshot wounds.

Hamas said in a statement that the man was one of its members.

On Friday in Jerusalem's Old City, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded a 14-year-old Israeli, and near a settlement in the West Bank city of Hebron, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police office before being shot dead.

Also on Friday in the northern town of Afula, an Israeli-Arab woman was shot and wounded by police who closed in on her as she held up a knife. Police said she had tried to stab a security guard.

A knife-wielding Israeli wounded four Arabs in the southern town of Dimona.

Violent protests also erupted near the Gaza border on Friday, and IDF soldiers shot and killed six Palestinian who were part of a large group of rioters that approached a closed closed military zone. A seventh Palestinian succumbed on Saturday to wounds sustained in the incident.

Two Hurt In Jerusalem Terror Stabbing, Assailant Shot Dead Document

Rabbi Eitam Henkin and Naama Henkin were murdered

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, a Jordanian, has weighed in on who is responsible for the wave of terror attacks across Israel in which Jewish citizens have been stabbed and shot by Palestinians: Israel.

In a press release on October 8, 2015, Hussein said: "The escalating tensions indicate a general sense of growing frustration and despair resulting from the situation of prolonged occupation, exacerbated by recent restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on Palestinian worshippers wishing to access the Al-Aqsa compound, the ongoing settlement expansion and settler violence, and a general lack of accountability in cases such as the Duma arson attack."

As far as the UN's top human rights authority is concerned, Israeli civilians dying from Palestinian terror attacks are the same as Palestinian terrorists killed while carrying out those attacks. In his words: "Four Israelis and five Palestinians have already lost their lives, while hundreds of others have been injured." He failed to note that three of the five Palestinians were killed in the midst of their terror attacks by security forces.

Self-defense for Jews evidently offends the UN's "human rights" chief as illegal: "The high number of casualties, in particular those resulting from the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces, raise concerns of excessive use of force, and violations of the right to life and security of the person."

Instead of directly condemning the rampant stone throwing attacks by Palestinians - which have caused Israeli deaths - the High Commissioner manufactured "allegations" against Jews who live on Palestinian claimed land. The press release states: "'I am also deeply concerned at the increasing number of reported attacks, including stone throwing, by both Israeli settlers and Palestinians,' Zeid said. Allegations of the use of fire arms by settlers have also been received."

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Blames Israel for Palestinian Terror Attacks Article

October 9, 2015

Israeli ambulance (file photo)

A female terrorist attempted to stab a soldier at the Afula central bus station Friday afternoon, in the fourth stabbing incident in under four hours.

Initial findings revealed that the female terrorist made her way inside the central bus station, and pulled out her knife by a soldier on the platform.

Upon identifying the threat, two Border Police officers opened fire at the terrorist, shooting towards her lower body in order to neutralize her.

She is being treated for moderate wounds.

Police forces on site are scanning the area for further potential threats. The scene has been closed off, and the public is advised to stay away from the bus terminal.

Attempted Attack By Female Terrorist In Afula; Fourth Attack Friday Document

Scene of stabbing attack in Jerusalem

A Palestinian man stabbed a 47-year-old police officer during a security check at the back entrance to the Kiryat Arba settlement on Friday, a day after a 31-year-old Israeli sustained serious stab wounds in an attack in the same location.

Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics arrived at Kiryat Arba security gate, by the road that leads to Hebron and evacuated the officer to the Sha'arei Tzedek Medical Center with light wounds, MDA said.

On Thursday, MDA paramedics found a seriously injured man suffering from stab wounds to his chest, stomach, and back.

The hospital listed him as being in serious condition.

Moti Onger, a senior MDA paramedics who reached the scene on Thursday, said he found a fully conscious man with stab wounds, and began providing him with life-saving medical treatment on the spot, which included bandaging the wounds, providing liquids, and blood infusions.

"We evacuated him in serious condition" to hospital, Onger said.

IDF units launched a sweep the area searching for the attacker.

A 16-year-old was also lightly injured in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem Friday afternoon.

"The young boy did not recall being stabbed by his assailant," said an MDA responder who arrived at the scene. "He said he was attacked with punches by his assailant, who fled shortly thereafter."

Emergency forces arrived at the scene in response to an emergency hotline call.

Rescue forces found the boy was wounded very lightly, with a minor stabbing wound to his upper body.

A suspect was tracked down based on a description provided by the victim. Investigations are ongoing.

Israeli Injured In Kiryat Arba Stabbing, Teen Wounded In Jerusalem Document

President Barack Obama speaking at the UN General Assembly on September 28, 2015

Missed Opportunities and Misplaced Priorities at the UN General Assembly Article

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as US President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting at the White House, October 1, 2014. (AFP/Jim WATSON)

Obama Ultimatum to Israel: 'US Won't Veto UN Vote on Settlements if Israel Builds Anew' Article

A cartoon depicting Palestinian “unity,” through killing of an Orthodox Jew, posted on Facebook page of an UNRWA employee

UNRWA Employee Facebook Posts Invoke Hitler, Happily Hanging Jews Article

October 8, 2015

The suspected assailant in an attack in Afula is apprehended on October 8, 2015

An IDF soldier was stabbed in the northern city of Afula, in the latest of a string of attacks on Israelis around the country on Thursday. The suspected attacker was apprehended by police.

The 20-year-old soldier was in moderate condition after suffering a stab wound to the chest. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The attack took place in downtown Afula, an eyewitness told Channel 2. The suspected attacker was tackled by bystanders. A video posted on Facebook appeared to show residents of Afula apprehending the suspect, and some of them beating him while pinned to the ground.

The suspect was later identified as 20-year-old Tariq Abd el-Fattah Yahya of Jenin.

Police had to use tear gas to disperse the mob that gathered around the suspected attacker. Residents then hurled stones at the police, Channel 10 reported, then attacked a Channel 2 news crew.

The suspect was in police custody and being interrogated.

Thursday evening's attack was the fourth stabbing attack of the day, following assaults on Israelis in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Kiryat Arba. No one was killed in any of the attacks, although at least seven people were injured.

IDF Soldier Stabbed, Moderately Hurt In Afula Attack Document

A hanging in Iran

On 10 October 2015, the 13th World Day Against the Death Penalty is raising awareness around the application of the death penalty for drug-related offences, to reduce its use.

As the 13th World Day Against the Death Penalty, approaches on 10. October, reports by Iran Human Rights (IHR) show that Iran's use of the death penalty in 2015 is higher than in more than 25 years.

According to a recent report by IHR, more than 800 people have been executed by 8. October 2015. More than 500 of those executed were sentenced to death for drug-related charges. Reports indicate that most of those executed for drug offences in Iran belong to the marginalized groups in the Iranian society. Moreover, unfair trials, use of torture to confessions and lack of access to lawyer are common practice for drug convicts in Iran.

Reports also indicate that some of those executed might even be innocent. Mahmood Barati, a school teacher who was solely sentenced to death for a false testomony by another drug convict, is an example of this practice.

The United Nations' Office for Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) cooperates with Iran in the fight against the drug trafficking. Several European countries contribute directly or through regional projects to this cooperation. IHR and several human rights NGOs have previously called on the UNODC to freeze its anti-narcotic cooperation with Iran. Several countries such as Ireland, Denmark and UK have ceased their funding of the UNODC project in Iran, in order "not to contribute" directly or indirectly to the execution of several hundred people every year.

On the occassion of the 13th World Day against the Death penalty, IHR once again called on the UNODC and the countries funding the UNODC projects in Iran to condition their anti-narcotic cooperation on a moratorium on the death penalty for drug offences. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR said: " Iranian authorities have admitted that the executions have not contributed to a reduction in the drug crimes. As long as the cooperation between UNODC and Iran continues, the UNODC and countries cooperating with Iran on law enforcement against the drug trafficking must be held accountable for Iran's arbitrary execution of several hundred people for drug offences every year."

Iran: More Than 800 Executions in 2015 as the World Day Against the Death Penalty Approaches Document

Israeli ZAKA emergency response members clean the scene of the stabbing attack in Jerusalem

Magen David Adom said on Thursday that a Palestinian assailant stabbed an Israeli man on Bar Lev Street in Jerusalem, wounding him seriously.

Paramedics who rushed to the scene said that the Israeli, a 25-year-old male, suffered wounds to his upper body, though no other specifics were provided. The victim was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for treatment.

The initial reports indicate that the incident occurred near the Israel Police national headquarters.

Police and security forces were on the scene to investigate. According to police, special forces on patrol nearby tackled the stabber and took him into custody.

The Shin Bet named the terrorist as Subhi Abu Khalifa, 19, a resident of the Shuafat Refugee Camp district. Abu Khalifa has no history of security arrests or offense. The Shin Bet has begun questioning him.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the man was attacked shortly after 12 p.m. while walking in the area. His assailant was apprehended by police moments later.

Gadi Miller, a senior MDA paramedic who was the first to arrive at the scene, said he noticed a 25-year-old male "lying on the ground with stab wounds to his upper body."

"MDA paramedics who got to the scene administered life-saving treatment and he was rushed to hospital in serious condition," Miller said.

MDA said that it also treated a passerby who was lightly hurt after accosting the Palestinian stabber.

After the assailant stabbed his victim in the neck, he fled the scene. Soon afterward, he was accosted by a security guard at the nearby light rail station. At this point, the assailant attacked the security guard in an attempt to steal his weapon.

After a brief scuffle, the assailant managed to slip away. Police forces nearby gave chase on foot in an attempt to apprehend the suspect. After managing to track him down, they pinned him to the ground and took him into custody.

The stabbing is the fourth of its kind in the capital since October first and has resulted in heightened police security throughout flashpoint Arab neighborhoods and the Old City.

The wave of violence has killed two Jews and seriously wounded at least five others.

Two terrorists have been killed.

Jerusalem Terror Attack: Israeli Seriously Wounded By Palestinian Stabber Document

Rokstan M, 20

A woman whose family branded her 'unclean' after she was gang-raped in her Syrian homeland has been found murdered in Germany – allegedly on the orders of her own mother.

Police believe the victim, named only as Rokstan M, 20, was stabbed to death by her father and brothers in the twisted logic that she had brought disgrace on her family through the sex attack.

Shortly before she was found dead in an allotment garden in the eastern German city of Dessau, she apparently had a premonition of her fate.

Writing on her WhatsApp profile, she said: 'I am awaiting death. But I am too young to die.'

Rokstan had been living in a house for single women before returning to her family a few days before she was murdered and buried in a shallow grave.

The killing has served to pull into sharp focus the cultural gulf between Germans and the more than one million refugees expected to arrive in the country this year.

Rokstan had arrived in Germany two years ago following her ordeal.

Authorities say she was well integrated into society and worked as a translator for asylum seekers navigating their way through German bureaucracy.

Author Mark Krόger, who employed her to interpret interviews he conducted with refugees for a book he is writing, said: 'Rokstan told me her terrible fate after she had helped me with translations.'

He listened to a tape she made in which she said: 'I was taken by three men. Ever since that time my family have regarded me as unclean.

'My mother and my brothers mistreat me. They say that I deserve to die.'

Her body was found on Friday in the family's allotment in Dessau. An autopsy showed she had been stabbed several times.

Local prosecutor Christian Preissner said: 'There is the suspicion that the act was carried out by persons in her close circle with a culture motive in the background.'

The father and brothers are wanted for questioning but are nowhere to be found.

The Federal Police believe the father, Hasso, has fled Germany and is now in either Turkey or Syria.

But author Krόger claimed the mother actually ordered the killing and once tried to hire a hit man to carry it out.

'Rokstan heard this from a friend,' he said.

The mother Roda insisted: 'I had nothing to do with her death.' Police have made no arrests in the case so far.

Syrian Gang Rape Victim Who Fled To Germany After Her Ordeal Is Stabbed To Death In Honour Killing Document

Palestinians dependent on UNRWA (file photo)

First Step to Resolve the Palestinian Problem: Eliminate UNRWA Article

Dawoud al-Marhoon was just 17 when he was arrested (IG)

Second Saudi Teenager Set to Be Beheaded for 'Protesting' Document

Police stand near the location of the stabbing near Azrieli Mall in Tel Aviv, October 8, 2015. (Tomer Appelbaum)

Four Stabbed in Tel Aviv in Fifth Terror Attack Since Wednesday Document

October 7, 2015

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has confirmed that Russian air strikes damaged three medical facilities in Syria in two days, exacerbating an already dire situation for civilians living in areas where the health system has been systematically attacked by the Syrian government.

"Bashar al-Assad's forces have been relentlessly attacking Syria's health care system for the past four years and the Russian government is now following in their footsteps," said Widney Brown, PHR's director of programs. "These attacks are inexcusable. Claiming that the fight is against terrorists does not give any government the right to tear up the laws of war, which specifically protect health workers and facilities. With these actions, Russia is damaging hospitals, putting patients and medical staff at risk, and depriving civilians of life-saving access to health care."

The Russian Ministry of Defense maintains that its air strikes are conducted with precise, guided munitions, which suggests that these three attacks were targeted at the medical facilities. Russia further maintains that it is targeting the self-declared Islamic State (IS), also called ISIS or ISIL. However, the three medical facilities are all located more than 30 miles from the nearest IS-controlled territory. Regardless of location or who the medical staff treat, targeting a medical facility is a war crime.

PHR has documented 307 attacks on medical facilities and the deaths of 670 medical personnel in Syria since the start of the conflict in March 2011 through the end of August 2015. Syrian government forces have been responsible for more than 90 percent of these attacks, each of which constitutes a war crime. PHR recently also called for a full and independent investigation of an attack on a Doctors without Borders clinic in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

PHR has confirmed the following incidents by Russian air strikes in Syria over the last week:

• On October 2, a Russian warplane launched an air strike on the field hospital in Latamneh, in northern Hama governorate. The facility was damaged, and multiple medical staff members were injured. The Syrian government has previously attacked this facility with barrel bombs in June.
• Also on October 2, a Russian warplane launched an air strike on an ambulance depot and emergency response center in Benin, in rural Idlib. Part of the facility was destroyed, at least two ambulances were seriously damaged, and the depot was temporarily put out of service. Reports indicate that two planes flew over the facility and launched strikes that fell around the depot before circling back and launching another strike, which landed inside the depot. The Syrian government previously attacked this facility with barrel bombs in April.
• On October 3, a Russian warplane launched an air strike that damaged al-Burnas Hospital in northern Latakia, near the Turkish border. The hospital suffered minor material damage, but had to be evacuated. The hospital is the only one in the region with an obstetrics/gynecology unit and is now only able to provide some emergency services.

Russia has not acknowledged that their air strikes hit or damaged the medical facilities, but confirmed it was conducting air strikes in each of these locations when the attacks occurred.

Russian Warplanes Strike Medical Facilities in Syria Document

Israeli security forces attend the scene of the foiled attack.

Two Israeli Border Police officers were injured when a Palestinian man rammed his car into a West Bank checkpoint near Jerusalem.

The driver sped up as he approached the Maale Adumim checkpoint in an attempt to run down the security forces on Wednesday evening, police said in a statement.

Israeli soldiers fired on and injured the driver, Channel 2 reported. The driver was taken to Shaare Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for treatment.

The ramming came at the end of a day marked by several Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets.

Palestinian Car-Ramming Attack Injures 2 Israeli Police Officers Document

A baby injured on October 3, 2015 in stabbing attack by Arab terrorist in Jerusalem, being treated by medics (Twitter)

UN Secretary General Condemns Israel for Killing Terrorists Who Stabbed, Murdered Israeli Civilians Development

Police pursue terror suspect who attacked IDF soldier

A suspected terrorist stabbed an IDF soldier before snatching his gun on Wednesday in the southern city of Kiryat Gat, initial reports say.

A police spokesman said that, upon initial investigation, the suspect approached an armed IDF soldier after stepping off of a bus and attempted to snatch his weapon.

The soldier resisted his assailant and as a result of the struggle sustained a light stabbing wound to his head.

The suspect continued with the snatched weapon to an adjacent residential building, where he took refuge until being confronted and shot down by police forces minutes later.

Police sappers were on the scene for fear that the suspect had been in possession of an explosive device.

Terror Attack: Assailant Stabs IDF Soldier In Attempted Weapon Snatch In Kiryat Gat Document

Magen David Adom ambulances and police officers near the scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, October 7, 2015

A teenage Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli man near the Lions' Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem on Wednesday morning and was then shot at the scene.

She was shot by her victim, who was stabbed in the back, police said.

The man was initially treated near the scene of the attack, the Magen David Adom emergency medical service said in a statement.

The stabber, 18, was in critical condition, while the Israeli man was moderately wounded.

"Upon arriving, I saw two patients," MDA paramedic Aharon Adler told The Times of Israel. "One of them, an approximately 30-year-old male with stab wounds to his upper body, fully conscious; alongside him, a young woman with gunshot wounds. According to him, she came up and stabbed him twice from behind. And then she was shot.

"Her condition was worse than his," he added.

The two were rushed to the nearby Western Wall plaza for treatment before an ambulance took them to the hospital, Adler said.

Both the stabber and her victim were evacuated to the Hadassah Hospital in the capital's Ein Kerem neighborhood.

The attack took place near where a Palestinian man stabbed two Israeli men to death Saturday night. The wife of one of those murdered and her toddler child were also wounded in that attack, while the stabber was shot dead by security forces.

The stabbing incidents came amid escalating violence and clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, where terror attacks killed four Israelis in total in the past week.

Four Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces, including two terrorists who stabbed Israelis in Jerusalem.

Palestinians have reacted violently over allegations that Israel has been seeking to curtail Muslim rights at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, which houses the al-Aqsa Mosque, and to alter longstanding rules that ban Jews from praying there. The Israeli government has repeatedly denied the allegations, asserting that it is not planning to change the status quo at the flashpoint compound holy to both Jews and Muslims.

Palestinian Woman Stabs Israeli Man In Jerusalem, Is Shot Document

The smashed window of an Israeli vehicle after an attack by rock throwing Palestinians near the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, October 7, 2015.

An Israeli woman was injured on Wednesday morning when Palestinians threw rocks at vehicles in the West Bank and allegedly tried to pull her out of her car.

Seven Israeli vehicles were damaged by rock-throwing Palestinians near Beit Sahour, on the road from Jerusalem to the West Bank settlement of Tekoa.

Witnesses said that a mob opened the door of the woman's car when it came to stop and tried to pull her out. She was kicked multiple times, and was lightly wounded. The car's front windshield was smashed.

The woman, 38, was treated by Magen David Adom paramedics near the scene of the attack and then evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for further medical attention, MDA said.

Josh Hasten, a resident of the nearby settlement of Elazar, was among those attacked by rock throwers on the Tekoa-Jerusalem road Wednesday morning.

"As I slowed down, I saw a mob of 40 to 50 masked Palestinians on the side of the road. They were holding rocks and cinder blocks," Hasten told The Times of Israel. "As they approached my car, I took out my gun and fired one round in the air. The shot obviously scared them and they ran up the hill away from the road."

He added, "I have no doubt that I would be dead now if I hadn't used my gun. They were going to kill me."

The Tekoa-Jerusalem road has seen a spate of attacks against Israeli vehicles in recent weeks, amid escalating violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem, where Palestinian attacks have killed four Israelis in the past week.

Four Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces, including two men who had stabbed Israelis in Jerusalem.

In East Jerusalem overnight Tuesday, police uncovered 15 Molotov cocktails ready for use on the roof of a house in the Arab neighborhood of A-Tur.

The discovery came the day after police found firebombs on the roof of a mosque in the same area.

Police arrested seven East Jerusalem Palestinians overnight on suspicion of involvement in rioting and attacks against Israelis.

Police were also looking into reports that Molotov cocktails were thrown at a car on Route 6, Israel's major north-south artery overnight Tuesday.

The firebombs were reportedly thrown near the Arab town of Tira, apparently hitting the road without causing injury or damage.

Roee Zamir, an Israeli man, posted on his Facebook page that while he was riding in a car on Route 6, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the vehicle.

Zamir said he reported the incident to police, who took half an hour to respond and then searched on the wrong side of the highway for traces of the incendiary devices.

Israeli Woman Injured in West Bank Rock-Throwing Attack Document

Former UN General Assembly President Ashe accepted more than $1 million in bribes for help obtaining lucrative investments and government contracts, according to federal court documents unsealed Oct. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Ex-UN General Assembly Head Among 6 Held in Bribery Scheme Article

October 6, 2015

October 5, 2015

QUESTION: The – so MSF is calling for an independent investigation of this incident by a neutral international body. Is that something the Administration would support?

MR TONER: Well, we've got three investigations underway. Certainly, we've got our own DOD-led investigation. We obviously strongly believe that can be a very transparent and accountable investigation. Let's let these three investigations run their course and see what the results are.

I would say – and I know the White House spoke about this earlier – we have reached out to some of the leadership in Medecins Sans Frontieres to express our condolences over this tragic incident. But as to whether there needs to be an independent fourth investigation, we're satisfied, I think, at this point that enough investigations are underway that we'll get to the truth.

QUESTION: You don't think that with the U.S., which is – which has an interest in how this investigation proceeds and what the outcome is, and being involved in all three investigations somehow affects the legitimacy of it?

MR TONER: I mean, frankly, I think we've proven over time that we can investigate incidents like these – like this, and as I said, hold anyone accountable who needs to be held accountable, and do it in such a way that's transparent and, I think, credible.

QUESTION: Just along those lines --

MR TONER: Please.

QUESTION: -- MSF has said that this is a clear presumption of a war crime that's been committed here. Some have suggested that the ICC take it up. Is it a safe bet that the U.S. would vote against/veto any attempt in the Security Council to bring this incident for – up for an ICC investigation?

MR TONER: I don't want to answer a hypothetical. On the war crime question itself, we're just not there yet, and I don't want to prejudge any outcome of any investigation.

Please, sir.

QUESTION: What do you mean, "We're just not there yet"?

MR TONER: I mean we're conducting investigations, we're looking at this very closely, and we're going to, as multiple folks have said including the President over the weekend – that we're going to hold those accountable and it's going to be a credible investigation.

QUESTION: Does that mean --

QUESTION: So it's conceivable to you that this could have been a war crime?

MR TONER: I said we're not – we're letting the investigations run their course.

QUESTION: Well, regardless of whether or not you --

MR TONER: I'm not going to – I'm not even – yeah, please, Matt.

QUESTION: No, but I want to --

MR TONER: Sure, go ahead. Sorry.

QUESTION: Is it not – I mean, it's always been assumed, I think – and I just want to know if this assumption is still safe – that the U.S. would oppose an attempt to refer an incident involving U.S. troops to the International Criminal Court.

MR TONER: That's --

QUESTION: I mean, as it's – as it was being formed, you guys ran around signing these Article 98 --

MR TONER: That's a perfectly sound assumption.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR TONER: I just didn't want to --

QUESTION: So – right. So regardless or not whether it was or whether it might be a war crime, you would oppose an ICC investigation?

MR TONER: I think that's a safe bet, yes.

State Department Deputy Spokesman on U.S. Bombing Afghanistan Hospital Document