The U.N. Human Rights Council voted Friday to endorse a Gaza war crimes report and send it to the Security Council, possibly setting up international prosecution of Israelis and Palestinians accused of war crimes.
The 575-page Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone report), was compiled by an expert group led by Judge Richard Goldstone. The report concludes that Israel used disproportionate force in violation of the Law of Land Warfare. Israeli forces deliberately targeted civilians, used civilians as human shields, and destroyed civilian infrastructure during their incursion into the Gaza Strip from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights 1,417 Palestinians (including an estimated 400 children) were killed. The Israeli dead numbered 13 (four of them soldiers hit by friendly fire).
The report also accused Palestinian armed groups including Hamas of deliberately targeting civilians and trying to spread terror through rocket attacks on southern Israel.
Most likely, the Security Council will take no action because the United States has a veto. Realistically, if Israeli war crimes in Gaza were referred to the International Criminal Court, that might also raise uncomfortable questions about the tactics used by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Goldstone Report on Gaza (The Nation)
Previous One Utah posts:
Gaza War Crimes: A Reminder (April 23)
Gaza 2009: We Will Never Forget (February 1)
Bush’s Final Gift to The New Administration: Yet Another War (January 26)
NYT Columnist Tom Friedman Accuses Israel of Terrorism (January 14)
Israel: No Cease Fire For You! (January 10)
Why Are We (Israel) Fighting Now? (January 7)
All We Need to Know About Israel’s Gaza Operation (January 5)