Two Months In, Legal Debate Instensifies Over Goldstone Report

posted on 11.06.2009 by Lisa

The BBC on the legal row over what has come to be known in its familiar form, the Goldstone report. Read more

GA President Urges “Take up the Cause of Justice” on Goldstone Report

posted on 11.05.2009 by

The U.N. General Assembly met for the second day to take up the Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict. The General Assembly today voted on and adopted the draft resolution on the Follow-up to the report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (document A/64/L.11), which affirmed that all Parties had the responsibility to respect international humanitarian law, and underscored the importance of safety for all civilians, notably those in armed conflict. The resolution endorsed the Human Rights Council Report adopted at its Twelfth Special Session, and requested the Secretary-General to transmit the Report to the Security Council. It urged Israel, within three months, to undertake independent investigations into violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, towards ensuring accountability and justice. Read more

Israel gvt forming task force on Goldstone report

posted on 10.26.2009 by Lisa

Israel will establish a task force to respond to the Goldstone report and its repercussions. Read more

Gaza war crimes debate to reopen

posted on 10.13.2009 by Lisa

The U.N. Human Rights Council based in Geneva will reopen the debate on alleged war crimes in Gaza later this week. According to officials, Palestinians succeeded in gathering enough support to call the special meeting. AP reports:

The debate will start Thursday, a day after the U.N. Security Council in New York discusses the Goldstone report, which accuses Israeli forces and Palestinian militants of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during their Dec. 27-Jan. 18 war. [...]

U.N. officials say 18 of the council’s 47 members signed a motion calling for the debate. The backers are: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Indonesia, Jordan, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Senegal.

Ibrahim Khraishi, the Palestinian Authority’s U.N. ambassador in Geneva, said the two-day debate would examine the report as well as recent incidents of violence in Jerusalem. [...]

“We’ll wait to take a stance on the debate itself once it begins,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. “We still think that this report is very dangerous and is disconnected from reality. This report was based almost exclusively on Hamas propaganda.” [...]

More here.

In closed-door meeting, Security Council decides to discuss Goldstone report on 14 Oct

posted on 10.07.2009 by Lisa
UN Photo / Paulo Filgueiras.

UN Photo / Paulo Filgueiras.

The U.N. Security Council will discuss the Goldstone report on 14 October, AP reports:

The council met behind closed doors Wednesday to discuss Libya’s request for an emergency meeting on the report, written by legal experts chaired by eminent South African jurist Richard Goldstone.
The council agreed to advance its monthly meeting on the Middle East to Oct 14 and focus on the war crimes report. The meeting was originally scheduled for Oct. 20. [...]

[...] Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. observer, said the Palestinians, Arab nations, and the 118-nation Nonaligned Movement of mainly developing countries strongly support the Libyan initiative.

More here.

Keeping the Goldstone Report Alive

posted on 10.05.2009 by Lisa

Palestinian authorities had a change of heart, calling it a “mistake” to have deferred Goldstone action.

From the Jerusalem Post:

A member of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s inner circle said Wednesday that the Palestinian leadership had erred by suspending action on the Goldstone Report, which alleged that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip last winter.


Last week, Abbas apparently gave in to US pressure and agreed to suspend the push for war crimes tribunals. Abbas aides defended the decision by saying they were only delaying, not dropping action.


However, on Wednesday, senior Abbas adviser Yasser Abed Rabbo said that “we have the courage to admit there was a mistake.” [...]

More here.

UN Defers Decision on Probe into Gaza Conflict

posted on 10.02.2009 by Lisa

UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferre

UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferre

The UN Human Rights Council decided today to defer action on a draft resolution on the “Goldstone report”. Read more

Posner says Goldstone report “flawed,” judge defends findings

posted on 09.29.2009 by Lisa

UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferre

UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferre

The U.S. has urged its close ally Israel to conduct credible investigations into allegations of war crimes committed by the IDF in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, saying it would help advance the Middle East peace process, Reuters reports.

Michael Posner, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, surprised human rights advocates on 29 September when he said that Goldstone’s report was “deeply flawed,” without elaborating on details. Speaking before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Posner said Washington disagreed with the report’s “methodology and many of its recommendations.” He added that the Council paid “grossly disproportionate attention” to Israel, but that the U.S. delegation stood ready to engage in a balanced debate.

He encouraged Israel to “utilize domestic [judicial] review and meaningful accountability mechanisms to investigate and follow up on credible allegations.”

“If undertaken properly and fairly, these reviews can serve as important confidence-building measures that will support the larger essential objective which is a shared quest for justice and lasting peace,” he said. More here.

Goldstone defended his report (AP) that accused both Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes during the Gaza conflict, rejecting the criticism by Israel that the report was politically motivated.

“We believe deeply in the rule of law, humanitarian law, human rights and the principle that in armed conflict civilians should to the greatest extent possible be protected from harm,” he told the U.N. Human Rights Council before the intense day-long debate of the Human Rights Council. Read his full statement here and the subsequent press release on presentation of the report to the Human Rights Council. A transcript of the press conference is also available.

Webcasts are also available at the UNHRC archive.

Read the full Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
Executive Summary (Advance 1)
Conclusions and Recommendations (Advance 2)

Goldstone on “Justice in Gaza”

posted on 09.17.2009 by Lisa

Richard Goldstone, head of the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict, writes today in The New York Times. Read more

ICJ: Human Rights Council urged to protect judges and lawyers in times of crises

posted on 09.15.2009 by Lisa

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) urged the UN Human Rights Council as it opened its 12th session in Geneva on 14 September 2009 to establish a new expert mandate to improve protection of human rights of individuals in armed conflicts and generally in any crisis situations. The ICJ requested the Council to harness protection of judges and lawyers from violence and intimidation inflicted on them for their professional functions. It also sought accountability for human rights violations and international crimes committed by the Israeli Army, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups during the recent war in Gaza. Read more

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