UN withholding Israeli war crimes probe results
Palestinian civilians and medics run for cover during Israeli airstrikes on a UN-run school in northern Gaza (January 17)
Having missed two previous deadlines, on Thursday, the world body said the results from its probe into the 22-day Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip were not yet ready.
“It is not done yet. As we indicated last week, it might be about another week or so from now before it is done,” UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said at the organization’s headquarters in New York on Friday in response to a Press TV correspondent question.
Last week, spokeswoman for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Michele Montas had assured that the final report would be delivered up this week. “We have asked for a little more time to finalize the report. The secretary general agreed with that….I can tell you it is going to be next week,” she had said.
Our reference to Montas’ confirmation was, however, met with the body’s denial. “No. We had a statement last week, I believe last Wednesday or Thursday, that it would be possibly another two weeks,” Haq added to his Friday remarks.
This is while the independent board of inquiry, commissioned by the secretary general to file the report, had originally promised to have the report ready by the end of March.
The international body had also promised to help end the humanitarian crisis caused by the Israeli attacks which wrought havoc on the strip in late 2008 and early 2009. Close to 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the operations — most of them civilians.
UN shelters — swarmed with refugees — were also targeted three times during the attacks, prompting the body to commission the report.
With Tel Aviv having opted out of cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council on the matter, Ban’s inquiry is the only one left to have access to the both sides of the conflict.
This is while, UN General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann refers to the organization’s record of failures to address the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The UN had been failing in its commitments dating back to 1947 when it promised to establish both a Palestinian state and Israel, he said. “That is the single biggest in the history of the United Nations: The lack of fulfillment. Because we still do not have a Palestinian state officially declared and we still have turmoil.”