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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

UN war crimes investigation in Gaza: Much ado about nothing

The UN is conducting a 'war crimes' investigation in Gaza. You may recall that when this investigation was first announced, it was claimed that the UN would be investigating the conduct of both parties before and during Operation Cast Lead. From the article below, it does not appear to be going well.
A veteran U.N. war crimes investigator acknowledged his probe of possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas - which included interviewing dozens of victims and poring through the files of human rights groups - is unlikely to lead to prosecutions.

Israel has refused to cooperate, depriving his team access to military sources and victims of Hamas rockets. And Hamas security often accompanied his team during their five-day trip to Gaza last week, raising questions about the ability of witnesses to freely describe the militant group's actions.

But the chief barrier remains the lack of a court with clear jurisdiction to hear any resulting cases stemming from the investigation into Israel's three-week offensive in Gaza which ended in January and was designed to stop years of Hamas rocket fire into southern Israel.

"From a practical political point of view, I wish I could be optimistic," Judge Richard Goldstone said, citing the legal and political barriers to war crimes trials.
As you may recall, I took the position that Israel should not cooperate with Goldstone's investigation. The UN simply cannot be trusted to give Israel a fair hearing. On the other hand, we need to be alert to the possibility that the Obama administration may not veto any attempt to impose sanctions on Israel as a result of the investigation's findings (the investigation's sponsor is the virulently anti-Israel UN 'Human Rights Council' of which the United States is now a member). It might be worth asking residents of the 'Gaza envelope' to send letters to the Commission on their own. I doubt that will help anyway.

Earlier this week, it was reported that 'Palestinian' groups plan to file 936 lawsuits in Spain alleging that Israel committed 'war crimes' during Operation Cast Lead. Spain has been attempting to prosecute top IDF officers for the targeted assassination of Hamas kingpin Salah Shehadeh in 2002. Maybe the Israeli government will decide to farm out some of the work to under-employed lawyers....


At 2:59 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Speaking of lawyers, Avigdor Lieberman disclosed this week to the Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee the Foreign Ministry has only two full time lawyers to protect the country's interests against all the anti-Israel "lawfare" waged against it. Given the seriousness of the issue, Israel needs to be more proactive in Europe and America in dealing with lawsuits filed against her by hostile parties.

Its about time.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger R-MEW Editors said...

I particularly like the strategy of retaliating by filing legal briefs in Israel and issuing arrest warrants for those European officials who had a hand in the NATO bombing of Serbia.

I'd love to see a WANTED poster with Javier Solana's face.


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