Israel refusal to another UN probe coop after Goldstone report

Israel has refused to cooperate another UN probe on deadly Gaza aid attack as it rejected Goldstone probe.

Israel refusal to another UN probe coop after Goldstone report

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israel on Sunday has refused to cooperate another UN probe on deadly Gaza aid attack as it rejected Goldstone probe.

The rejection came two days after the UN Human Rights Council named a panel of experts to investigate whether the Israel raid, in which nine Turkish activists in international waters were shot dead, breached international law.

Turkey repeatedly said, it will only accept results of international independent panel on aid attack on international waters and rejected Israel's internal probe whose panel members criticized for "being powerless".

Israeli paper Haarezt quoted a senior Israeli official as saying, "this is an unnecessary committee, which is the product of an obsession with Israel."

According to the report, Israel is officially expected to announce its refusal to cooperate with the UN committee this week.

The 47-member Human Rights Council condemned the raid as an "outrageous attack" during an emergency session days after the attack and decided to set up a commission of inquiry.

Israel, which has a long history of refusing cooperations with UN over war crimes charges, had halted a visit of UN team led by Richard Goldstone, a South African judge.

The Goldstone report said, "Israeli forces deliberately attacked civilians, failed to take precautions to minimize loss of civilian life and cited strong evidence Israeli forces committed grave breaches of the Geneva Convention."

Israel had killed up to 1500 Gazans, a third of them children and wounded more than 5000 Palestinians in the 22-day military aggression in December 2008 on Gaza.

UN visit into Israel?

The panel is due to present its findings in mid-September.

The UN fact-finding team comprises three independent experts -- Sir Desmond de Silva (Britain), Karl Hudson-Phillips (Trinidad and Tobago) and Mary Shanthi Dairiam (Malaysia) -- a U.N. statement said.

De Silva is a former chief war crimes prosecutor at the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone. Hudson-Phillips is a former judge at the International Criminal Court who also served as attorney-general of Trinidad and Tobago.

Shanthi Dairiam is a Malaysian women's rights activist working in U.N. and Asian regional forums.

"The expertise, independence and impartiality of the members of the mission will be devoted to clarifying the events which took place that day and their legality," said Thailand's ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow, current Council president.

"We call upon all parties to fully cooperate with the mission and hope that this mission will contribute to peace in the region and justice for the victims," he said.

The U.N. team is expected to travel to Israel, Turkey and Gaza in August to interview witnesses and gather information before reporting back to the Council in September. The Council opens a three-week session in Geneva on Sept. 12.

However, Israel is expected to prevent UN experts from entering Israel.

Turkey has withdrawn its ambassador, cancelled joint military exercises, and called for Israel to end its blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians.


Related news reports:

Israel says to free Turkish Gaza aid ships held after deadly raid

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Temmuz 2010, 16:52