Israel rejects UN's Gaza probe

10:52 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

Israel has described as "nauseating" a United Nations probe of last year's Gaza conflict.

Jerusalem says it created an unjust "equivalence of a democratic state with a terror organisation" and lacked the context of a decade of terrorist attacks by Hamas.

The Goldstone Commission Report concluded that both sides were guilty of committing war crimes, including the violation of human rights and international humanitarian law.

In a 575-page report, the fact-finding mission, headed by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone, himself Jewish, found that "Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity", during last year's Operation Cast Lead, which targeted Palestinian rocket squads in Gaza.

The report "concludes there is also evidence that Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes, as well as possibly crimes against humanity", by firing rockets at cities in southern Israel, the UN said.

Appointed by the Human Rights Council in April, the mission was charged with investigating 36 specific incidents in Gaza and others in the West Bank and Israel.

In all, the mission conducted 188 interviews, reviewed 10,000 documents and viewed 12,000 photos and videos.

Goldstone said he has strong ties to Israel and noted his attempt to maintain objectivity during the probe.

The four-member investigative panel recommended that the UN Security Council require Israel to launch its own investigations, "that are independent and in conformity with international standards", into the Gaza operation and to appoint a committee of experts to oversee the "progress, effectiveness and genuineness" of these investigations.

If it failed to do so within three months, the report said, the Security Council should refer Israel's alleged war crimes to the International Criminal Court.

Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy expressed "nausea and fury" over the report.

Israeli officials were particularly stunned that the document summarily rejected the legal worth of Israel's own judicial bodies.

In a country where the High Court of Justice can stop a battle in mid-stream, as happened in Jenin in 2002 until the facts of the alleged massacre were determined, it was difficult to understand the Goldstone panel's mistrust of the Israeli judiciary, officials said.

"Israel has examined itself in the light of day in innumerable investigations and a robust system of independent courts," said Levy.

"We have nothing to be ashamed of, and don't need lessons in morality from a committee established by Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Somalia."

He added: "The immediate message of this report is: Terror pays. It says that terrorists who attack Jews, unlike terrorists who attack Americans, Spaniards, or other Arabs, will earn the protection of the UN."

A Foreign Ministry statement noted that the IDF had examined more than 100 allegations regarding the conduct of its forces during the Gaza campaign, resulting in 23 outstanding criminal investigations.

Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein said that "it hurts when people without morals pretend to be warriors for human rights".

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Jerusalem made the right decision not to cooperate with the inquiry.

"The report only came out because of countries like Pakistan, Libya and Saudi Arabia, who are members of the UN Human Rights Council," Ayalon told Army Radio.

"The results just prove the correctness and legitimacy of the decision not to cooperate . . . the report was compiled without any connection to investigations on the ground."

"It completely ignores all Hamas terror activity that preceded the IDF operation," he continued, stressing that the main reason for Israel's boycott of the investigation "was the presence on the commission of those who insisted that the operation was not one of self-defence, but an Israeli aggressive action".

Israel's former ambassador to the UN Danny Gillerman said that the UN Human Rights Council report contained "blatant, one-sided, anti-Israel lies".

"Members of the UNHRC include countries like Zimbabwe and Libya that spend 90 per cent of their time on Israel and don't deal for example with the Darfur massacre," he declared.

He stressed that while soul searching was being done by Israel and would continue, Operation Cast Lead was conducted to protect a million residents of the south from rocket attacks.

"We went to lengths no other country would have gone to in order to avoid civilian casualties," he said.

The Palestinian Authority welcomed the findings and also the charges against Hamas, saying the movement was also responsible for "atrocities" against Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Judge Goldstone's daughter Nicole maintains that her father "is a Zionist and loves Israel".

Speaking from Toronto, where she now lives, Nicole said she had many conversations with her father when he was asked to head the UN inquiry.

She said: "I know better than anyone else that he thought that however hard it was to accept it, he was doing the best thing for everyone, including Israel." continues here

Related Posts by Categories

Post a comment on AAWR

0 Responses to "Israel rejects UN's Gaza probe"

Post a Comment

We welcome contributions from all sides of the debate, at AAWR comment is free, AAWR may edit and/or delete your comments if abusive, threatening, illegal or libellous according to our understanding of, no emails will be published. Your comments may be published on other nationalist media sites worldwide.