GAZA

UN endorses damning Gaza war crimes report

The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution endorsing the Goldstone report, which accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes during the Gaza conflict earlier this year.

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AFP - The UN Human Rights Council on Friday adopted a resolution that endorses a damning report accusing both Israel and Hamas of war crimes during the Gaza conflict.

With 25 states of the council voting for the resolution, six voting against and 11 abstaining, the "draft resolution ... is therefore adopted," said president of the Human Rights Council Alex Van Meeuwen.

The resolution calls for the endorsement of "the recommendations contained in the report" produced by a team led by international war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone, which looked into a the 22-day conflict ending in January that Israel launched in response to rocket fire from Gaza.

It also "calls upon all concerned parties including United Nations bodies, to ensure their implementation."

The controversial Goldstone report published in September concluded that both Israel and Hamas, Gaza's rulers, committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the conflict.

It recommends referring its conclusions to the International Criminal Court prosecutor in The Hague, if Israel and Hamas fail to conduct credible investigations within six months.

Late Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the Human Rights Council to reject the resolution.

"Responsible nations have to vote against this decision that supports terror and harms peace," Netanyahu told reporters after a meeting with visiting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Even Goldstone himself, who was in Bern for a conference Thursday, criticised the UN Council resolution for targetting only Israel and failing to include Hamas.

The UN resolution is peppered with references to "recent Israeli violations of human rights in occupied east Jerusalem" but failed to mention Hamas.

"This draft resolution saddens me as it includes only allegations against Isreal. There is not a single phrase condemning Hamas as we have done in the report. I hope that the council can modify the text," he said in remarks published in Swiss newspaper Le Temps.
 

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