Ahead of a September 29 presentation to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Nations' Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict released its key conclusions.
Unsurprisingly, both Hamas and Israel have been proven guilty of war crimes in a report covering 36 "incidents".
Between December 2008 and January 2009 or, as I pointed out (see "A Christmas Gift for Fundamentalists ?"), during the no-top-man's land between Obama's election and his formal inauguration, 13 Israeli and more than 1,400 Palestinians died.
Against Palestinian terrorists, the reports pointed out indiscriminate bombings, but found no evidence of "human shields", bringing even more pressure on Tel Aviv hawks who get most of the blame : disproportionate actions, collective punishment, use of illegal weapons (white phosphorus shells)...
Worse : this is the consequence of wrongdoings by a few rogue soldiers, but "the result of deliberate guidance issued to soldiers", or as Richard Goldstone put it, "policies". I suggested another word for that in "Israel openly embraces fascism". The report went as far as mentioning "crimes against humanity".
The mission wants the United Nations Security Council to investigate further and to consider bringing charges to the International Criminal Court. If the US don't put a veto on it, it may fly, but up to a certain point : the ICC's jurisdiction is not accepted by Israel.
Israeli hawks denounce an unfair and biased mission and as a matter of fact, Christine Chinkin, a member of the commission, accused Israel of war crimes in an op-ed published last January.
But blaming the thermometer doesn't cure the flu.
And even after the embarrassing revelations on a prominent Israeli human rights activist*, Israeli moderates are more than ever welcome to speak up and loud against their unruly rulers.
* Human Rights Watch's Marc Garlasco happens to collect Nazi memorabilia !
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