Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Valls ♥ Business

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Kiev says Russian troops have entered Ukraine

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

Middle east

House of Representatives condemns UN report on Gaza war

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-04

The US House of Representatives has condemned the UN Goldstone report (named after former South African judge Richard Goldstone, pictured) as unfairly accusing Israel of war crimes in its war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

AFP - The US House of Representatives condemned Tuesday the UN Goldstone report as unfairly accusing Israel of committing war crimes in its 22-day war against Palestinian militants in Gaza.
  
By a margin of 344-36, lawmakers approved a non-binding resolution that calls the report "irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy."
  
The symbolic measure also urges President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "to strongly and unequivocally oppose" any discussion of the report or action on its findings in any international setting.
  
The Obama administration has already condemned the report, which was expected to go to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, as unhelpful to its efforts to revive stalled Middle East peace talks.
  
"I think the UN report is unbalanced, and unfair, and inaccurate," said Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
  
"It's unfortunate that the United Nations deals with Israel, in my opinion, in a totally biased and unbalanced way. And it is the only country in the world, Israel, that has a special focus by the United Nations," he added.
  
"I have been to Gaza and I have read in its entirety the Goldstone report and I will tell you he says many things, that though unpleasant, are true, and must not be obstructed," countered Democratic Representative Brian Baird.
  
Baird bolstered his speech against the resolution with photographs of dead Palestinian children and Israeli children seeking shelter during a suspected Palestinian rocket attack.
  
The resolution, crafted by Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, expressed support for the Obama administration's condemnation of the report and urges opposition to its findings in any international forum.
  
"The Goldstone Report illustrates the anti-freedom, anti-Israel bias which deeply pervades the UN system, and it does not deserve consideration or legitimacy from responsible nations," she said after the vote.
  
"Even in the fog of war, it is clear that Israel took every reasonable measure to minimize the risk of civilian casualties. It is clear that Israel had every right and duty to defend its citizens from the onslaught of rocket and mortar attacks from Hamas and other militants in Gaza," she said.
  
Named after former South African judge Richard Goldstone, who headed the inquiry committee, the UN report accuses Israel and Hamas militants of war crimes during the 22-day conflict that flared up in late December 2008 and ended in January, leaving some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.
  
Goldstone recommended that Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas -- which rules the tiny Palestinian coastal enclave -- face possible prosecution in The Hague if they fail to conduct credible investigations within six months.
  
Hoyer said rocket fire from Palestinian fighters in Gaza had placed Israel in "an unfortunate position" and stressed that Israel "is as careful a government as there is in terms of prosecuting its own defense" officials.
  
On Monday, Human Rights Watch urged lawmakers not to back the resolution, said the Goldstone report "presents an opportunity to pursue justice for the victims in Gaza and Israel."
  
"Instead of denouncing the report, the US Congress should urge Israel and Hamas to break the cycle of abuse and impunity, which for too long has fueled hatred and hindered efforts at peace," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

Date created : 2009-11-04

  • DIPLOMACY

    Palestinians 'satisfied' with US position on Israel

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY

    Clinton counters Arab anger over Israeli settlements

    Read more

COMMENT(S)