Big news today.
The Palestinian Authority is urging the UN to reprimand Israel for the grave violations of international and human rights law it committed during the Gaza war in the winter of 2008. The Palestinians previously, by influence of the U.S., decided to defer action on the UN report that incriminated them as well.
Israel has publicly rejected the report as falsified and biased. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki however stands by the investigation as an accurate depiction of war crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza region.
“The world has for too long witnessed Israel’s impunity, knowing well that this has been repeatedly fuelled by the lack of punishment and accountability…we must break this obscene cycle” he said during a debate on Wednesday, the BBC reports.
Palestinian authorities had previously agreed, by way of U.S. pressure (no surprise), to defer action on the UN report. This led to, according to BBC correspondent Barbara Plett, a “public outcry.”
Gabriela Shalev, Israel’s envoy to the UN, stands by Israel’s claims that the report was heavily biased towards Palestinians and that Israel had a right to defend itself from repeated Hamas rocket fire last winter. “I regret to say that the Goldstone report is one-sided, biased and therefore wrong – just as the forum and mandate that established its mission,” she said, Al-Jazeera reports.
U.S. authorities, according to the BBC, also believe the report was biased, claiming blame was placed too heavily on Israel. That is why they urged the Palestinian Authority to defer action.
The 2009 report found that Israel had used unnecessary force and failed to protect civilians during the 22-day conflict in the Gaza strip last winter.
Hamas is also incriminated in the report for allegedly firing rockets at Israeli civilians, which is why Israel claims it went on the offensive – self-defense.
According to human rights groups, nearly 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during the conflict. You can see the numbers there.
Judge for yourselves! I think some sort of UN action must be taken against Israel for this complete disregard of the well-being of a collective group of peoples. The U.S. needs to recognize that, too.