We Won’t Cooperate


 On May 29th, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published "UN probe of Gaza War to begin next week."  Haaretz reports, "Israel said Friday that it will not cooperate with a United Nations team appointed to investigate alleged war crimes committed during its 22-day offensive in Gaza."  Israel refuses to cooperate because the commission is, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor, "only ordered to probe alleged Israeli violations, while ignoring Hamas" and "it was ordered by the 47-member UN Human Rights Council, which has an anti-Israeli track record."

 

These are strange reasons for refusing to co-operate with the commission.

 

Haaretz article from nine days earlier, "UN: Gaza war crimes probe to go ahead without Israeli approval," says that the investigation will be into "possible war crimes committed by both sides."  The UN prosecutor Richard Goldstone "said he wanted to start in the investigation in Israel to see the Israeli side first."  Human Rights Watch also supports Goldstone’s investigation into "serious laws of war violations by both sides during recent fighting in Gaza."

 

The "anti-Israeli track record" of the UN consists in its steadfast application of the Geneva Conventions to the occupied territories.  The World Court has ruled that Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are violations of the 1949 Geneva Conventions prohibiting occupying powers to annex occupied territory.  Moreover, the World Court has found that the security wall "severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination, and is therefore a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right."

 

Israel, however, refuses to recognize the applicability of international humanitarian law to the occupied territories.  The Guardian reports that Israel’s justice minister "said that whatever the UN general assembly may decide, his government would only recognize decisions by Israel’s own courts."

 

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