Gaza War Crimes Report Referred to U.N. Security Council

While the cable news channels were giving us in-depth coverage of Balloon Boy, the Associated Press reported this:

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.

Destruction of civilian buildings in the Gaza Strip

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.

More info:
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)

  1. #1 by Gruntled on April 2, 2011 - 2:29 pm

    Goldstone followed up:

    Might consider updating the post: seems cooler heads see things differently.

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on April 2, 2011 - 3:09 pm

    Let’s look at this objectively. The whole world saw Israel intentionally, as a matter of policy, violate the Law of Land Warfare. We all knew at the time that Operation Cast Lead was nothing more than an act of collective punishment inflicted on Gaza civilians, in violation of international law and every accepted standard of human rights.

    Despite what Judge Goldstone writes in his opinion piece, the truth is undeniable. Facts are facts. For example, we have photos of WP artillery rounds exploding in populated areas. Were “individual soldiers” responsible for these fire missions? Not possible, because an artillery battery is a company-size unit operating under orders from a commander. Why did they even have 155 mm WP rounds on hand? Israel can’t get away with the old “mistakes were made” excuse.

    Finally, the violation of international law is ongoing because of the blockade of Gaza. Let’s hope the new Egyptian government opens the border on their side.

  3. #3 by shane on April 3, 2011 - 11:01 am

    Israel can get away with the “mistakes were made” excuse. And they most likely will. So long as we remain their big brother, threatening anyone with violence who gets mad when Israel starts a fight, it will be easy.

    If Israel were an arab dictator, we would have started bombing them in the 80s.

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