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Monday, February 08, 2010

Pressure off on Goldstone?

On Friday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon submitted to the General Assembly his report on the parties' actions in response to the Goldstone Commission report.
In the introduction to Ban’s 72-page report, the vast majority of which was made up of annexes that were simply the Israeli and Palestinian reports of the actions they have taken to investigate the Goldstone Commission’s allegations of war crimes, Ban wrote that since the investigative processes were ongoing, “no determination” could be made as to whether the sides have met the General Assembly’s demands to carry out “credible, independent investigations into their own actions.”

A UN General Assembly resolution in November endorsed the Goldstone Commission findings, and called on both sides to carry out “independent, credible” investigations that were “in conformity with international standards.” The General Assembly gave the secretary-general three months to report back on the status of those investigations, which is what Ban did on Friday.

“I believe that, as a matter of principle, international humanitarian law needs to be fully respected and civilians must be protected in all situations and circumstances,” Ban wrote in the report’s introduction. “Accordingly, on several occasions, I have called upon all of the parties to carry out credible domestic investigations into the conduct of the Gaza conflict. I hope that such steps will be taken wherever there are credible allegations of human rights abuses.”

Ban also wrote that he hoped the General Assembly resolution “served to encourage investigations” by Israel and the Palestinians.
Both Israel and the 'Palestinian Authority made submissions to Ban. Hamas did not. Instead, it took the position that it had nothing to investigate.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty blasted Ban for just passing the reports on "as is" without any evaluation.

According to JPost, Israel was satisfied with Ban's report.
One Israeli government official warned that even though Israel was satisfied with Ban’s report, it was too early to celebrate the “burial” of the Goldstone Report, and it was not clear where the report would go from here.

At the same time, it does seem that there is no longer a sense of urgency in Jerusalem to set up some kind of independent judicial inquiry or commission to investigate either the war crimes allegations, or how the IDF has investigated them, in order to combat fallout from the Goldstone Report.
But Haaretz is reporting this story completely differently.
The United Nations is likely to refer the findings of the Goldstone report to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, diplomatic sources in New York said on Saturday.

A decision to bring the report on last year's Gaza war before the court would follow a debate in the UN General Assembly over Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's response to the document last week.

Assembly president Ali Abdussalam Treki announced on Saturday that member states were drawing up a plan of action over Ban's answer to the report, in which retired South African Judge Richard Goldstone accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes.

Treki, a senior Libyan diplomat, did not give a target date for a debate by the assembly - but the tone of his press release implied that he would push for a full discussion of the issue, diplomats said.
As part of their submission, Hamas supposedly apologized to Israel. The apology was quickly and firmly retracted.

Read it all.


At 5:34 AM, Blogger Mr. Gerson said...

Hamas made a report, but it was ignored.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Yep. This is by no means the end of the assault against Israel. Hamas got off scot-free. It has learned the lesson that it can attack with Israel with impunity and pay no real price for it. For Israel the ending has a different result. It can expect to be subjected to more investigations and pressure if another war breaks out.

What could go wrong indeed


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