Saturday, April 16, 2011

United States Senate Urges UN to Revoke Gaza War Report

US urges UN to revoke Gaza War report

Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:33AM

The US Senate has urged the UN to revoke a report on the Gaza War, which accuses Israel of committing war crimes during the 22-day offensive against the Gaza Strip.

The US senators have drawn up a resolution calling on UN Human Rights Council members "to rescind the report and reconsider further Council actions with respect to the report's findings."

The resolution also urged UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to help "reform" the Human Rights Council "so that it no longer unfairly, disproportionately, and falsely criticizes Israel on a regular basis," AFP reported

It also called on the UN chief to "do all in his power to redress the damage to Israel's reputation" caused by the report.

The resolution comes after head of the UN inquiry over the Gaza offensive Richard Goldstone said earlier this month that he was wrong to conclude Israel targeted civilians.

In April 2009, Goldstone investigated reports of the international human rights and humanitarian law violations during the December 2008-January 2009 assault, which left more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly women and children, dead.

The report said that the Israeli operations "were carefully planned in all their phases as a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population."

However, under intensive pressure from the Israelis, Goldstone on April 3 announced that he was wrong to say Israel had deliberately targeted civilians.

Goldstone later announced that he has no reason to believe any part of the report needs to be reconsidered at the moment.

On Thursday, three of the authors of the report, which was condemned by the US House of Representatives in a November 2009 vote, rejected calls to retract it.

The report could pave the way for dragging Israel before the Hague tribunal for war crimes.

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