Friday, April 03, 2009

United Nations Appoints Goldstone to Lead Israel-Gaza Probe

UN appoints Goldstone to lead Israel-Gaza probe

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND Apr 03 2009 13:00

The United Nations on Friday appointed a former chief prosecutor for war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda to lead a high-level mission to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Israel refused to say if it would cooperate.

Richard Goldstone was named to head the investigation ordered by the Human Rights Council in January.

According to the mandate, the investigation will focus only on Palestinian victims of the three-week war between Israel and Hamas earlier this year.

Israel has rejected any participation in previous council investigations, including one led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu, calling them biased.

It would not say on Friday if it would cooperate with the delegation headed by Goldstone, a Jewish judge from South Africa. Other members of the group are British professor of international law Christine Chinkin, Pakistani lawyer Hina Jilani and retired Irish Army Colonel Desmond Travers.

"This committee is instructed not to seek out the truth but to single out Israel for alleged crimes," said Yigal Palmor, spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry. He called the 47-nation body "discredited" and said it has no "practically credibility at all." -- Sapa-AP

Source: Mail & Guardian Online
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