Allies Advise Israel to Probe Gaza Crimes


15/10/2009 | 8:08 pm GMT+5.30 | nvs

Richard Goldstone

Richard Goldstone

It seems Israel has come under some pressure or strong advice to probe what the UN judge Mr. Richard Goldstone found as War Crimes during the 22-day conflict which began on 27 December 2008. The Goldstone Report accused Israel of using disproportionate force against Palestine and deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians. Palestinian Hamas militants are also accused of indiscriminate rocket fire at Israeli civilians. Both Hamas and Israel rejected the report findings accusing it ‘biased’ and favouring terrorism. Israel said it has already conducted a detailed enquiry and found that no war crimes as pointed out by the Goldstone Report, had taken place from Israeli side. It vehemently argued it has right to self-defence.

As UN Human Rights Council is going to discuss the Goldstone report today i.e. on 15th October London’s UN envoy asked Israel to hold “full, credible and impartial” investigations. Israel received almost similar calls from his counter parts of the US and France. Though Mr. Goldstone has presented his report two weeks ago, the UNHRC has deferred the discussion on report to March of the next year. Palestinians were angered with this development and expressed their serious concern that the allegations made against Israel in the report were being ignored by the International community. Again the decision to defer the discussion was reconsidered and decided to meet for discussions on 15th October.  

In this background the allies of Israel asked to take up probe by itself the commission’s findings of war crimes committed against Palestinian civilians. “We note that the Israeli Defence Force has already conducted and is continuing to conduct a number of investigations,” said John Sawers, the British Ambassador to the UN. “However, concerns remain and we urge the Israeli government to carry out full, credible and impartial investigations into the allegations,” he added. French Ambassador Gerard Araud urged both sides to initiate “independent inquiries in line with international standards.” The deputy US Ambassador, Alejandro Wolff, expressed serious concerns about the report – citing an “unbalanced (or disproportionate! –nvs) focus on Israel” – but he repeated the US view that Israel should look into it. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also made similar urge for ‘credible’ investigations by both sides into the conduct of the Gaza conflict “without delay”.

Coming to the facts, all of these requests and urges are nothing but ‘lip services’. On one side these so called big powers give repeated serious warnings to Iran to stop pursuing ‘enrichment of uranium for military purpose’ although Iran clarified number of times that its nuclear facilities are for peaceful purposes. Iran even agreed to open inspection of its facilities and the date has been set for visit of Elbaradi, the IAEA head, they go on accusing Iran as a threat to global peace without holding any concrete evidence to support their allegations. Here the world body UNHRC itself finds gravest war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israeli army that too deliberately… even so these powers simply urge Israel to conduct credible investigations. Whither the justice?

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