Paper about the Goldstone report


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Paper about the Goldstone report

  1. 1. Paper about the Goldstone report Presented by Abdelhamied El_Rafie For the Course of Contemporary Issues in Perspective Under the Supervision of Professor Dr. Camillo Perez In order to analyze the report I quote here the full press release of the United NationsFact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict “ GENEVA – Head of the UN Fact FindingMission Justice Richard Goldstone urged the international community to put an end toimpunity for violations of international law in Israel and the Occupied PalestinianTerritory as he presented the report of the Mission to the Human Rights Council onTuesday.Following its 3-month investigation, the four-person Mission concluded that seriousviolations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israelin the context of its military operations in Gaza from December 27, 2008 to January 18,2009, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimesagainst humanity.The Mission also found that Palestinian armed groups had committed war crimes, as wellas possibly crimes against humanity.As neither the Government of Israel nor the responsible Palestinian authorities had todate carried out any credible investigations into alleged violations, Justice Goldstoneurged the 47 Member States of the Human Rights Council to implement a number ofmeasures, including referral of the Mission’s report to the UN Security Council. TheMission report recommends that the Security Council require Israel and the authorities inGaza to report to it, within six months, on investigations and prosecutions it should carryAbdelhamied El Rafie
  2. 2. out with regard to the violations identified by the Mission.The Mission recommends that the Security Council set up a body of independent expertsto report to it on the progress of the Israeli and Palestinian investigations andprosecutions. If the experts’ reports do not indicate within six months that good faith,independent proceedings are taking place, the Security Council should refer the situationin Gaza to the ICC Prosecutor.The Mission was appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council in April with amandate to “To investigate all violations of international human rights law andinternational humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the contextof the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27December 2008 and 18 January 2009, whether before, during or after.”The Mission found that the repeated acts of firing rockets and mortars into SouthernIsrael by Palestinian armed groups from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip constituted warcrimes that may amount to crimes against humanity.In the lead up to the Israeli military assault on Gaza, the Mission said it found that Israelhad imposed a blockade amounting to collective punishment and carried out a systematicpolicy of progressive isolation and deprivation of the Gaza Strip. During the Israelimilitary operation, code-named “Operation Cast Lead,” more than 1,400 people werekilled, including women and more than 340 children, and houses, factories, wells,schools,hospitals, police stations and other public buildings were destroyed.The report concluded that the Israeli military operation was directed at the people of Gazaas a whole, in furtherance of an overall and continuing policy aimed at punishing theAbdelhamied El Rafie
  3. 3. Gaza population, and in a deliberate policy of disproportionate force aimed at the civilianpopulation. The Report states that Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Stripof their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedomof movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights toaccess a court of law and an effective remedy, and could lead a competent court to findthat the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.“The Government of Israel has a duty to protect its citizens,” Justice Goldstone told theHuman Rights Council, “That in no way justifies a policy of collective punishment of apeople under effective occupation, destroying their means to live a dignified life and thetrauma caused by the kind of military intervention the Israeli Government calledOperation Cast Lead. This contributes to a situation where young people grow up in aculture of hatred and violence, with little hope for change in the future. Finally, theteaching of hate and dehumanization by each side against the other contributes to thedestabilization of the whole region,” he said.As well as calling for justice, the Members of the Mission urged the Human RightsCouncil to take action that would ensure the protection of victims, prevent furtherviolence and improve the living conditions of the affected people.”Due to what mentioned above the incidents that happened during the Gaza warrepresented violations of Human rights and International Humanitarian Law so it accusesboth Israel and Hamas But is this fair? Will this report stops such violations? Will it beapplicable on the ground? Then what is the solution?Putting the above mentioned questions will lead to a very direct answer in my personalopinion it’s a report which investigated thoroughly the actions of violation by both Israeland Hamas but are they equal powers? Is it fair to leave one and half million personsAbdelhamied El Rafie
  4. 4. under fire and bombing for many days is it fair to leave them without humanitarianassistance in order to survive? Iam not defending Hamas personally because I know thatthey have their own agenda .On the other hand if we suppose that such a report reaches its highest destination which isthe Security Council will the decision pass without a Veto or if it passes will it be anactive resolution by the Council in which it would have an immediate effect? Will it bepossible to chase Israeli officials as war criminals ? I will leave the answer open.So the conclusion of the above mentioned open answer is that such a report if it wasagainst any other country than Israel if you know what I mean there will be sanctions andchasing heads of states as Criminals of War but on the other hand it’s a respected effortwhich will have some positive effect on the Conscience of the International Publicopinion towards the real Humanitarian situation in the Palestinian occupied lands .Then this will lead to another question which is has the report been politicized?And in what sense? In my own personal understanding answer is yes it has been used asa political card within the quarreling Palestinian factions on one hand and showed a lotsof contradiction between both Fath and Hamas. On the other hand The Israelis played agood game through their lobby in both the media and within their network of foreignrelations and also through the Jewish lobby around the World. ‫ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬ ‫ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬ ‫ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬ ‫ـــــــــــــــ‬Abdelhamied El Rafie