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Published on Sep 29, 2009
MaximsNewsNetwork: 29 September 2009 - UNTV: The head of a UN fact finding mission into the recent conflict in Gaza Richard Goldstone has told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that both sides committed war crimes.
He said that Israeli forces launched direct attacks against civilians with lethal consequences while the civilian population in Israel had suffered due to sustained rocket and mortar attacks from Palestinian armed groups in Gaza.
He called on Israel and the Gaza authorities to conduct open and transparent investigations. If this did not happen within a six month period, the UN Security Council should refer the situation or situations to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.
Israel responded by saying that the fact finding report had little concern with finding facts, calling it a political assault against Israel. While expressing the US administration's admiration for Judge Goldstone, the US ambassador called the report deeply flawed.
The Palestinian ambassador, Ibrahim Kaishi, welcomed the report, saying that many of his people would not forgive the international community if it leaves the criminals without punishment.
Later, at a press conference, Goldstone dismissed Israeli allegations of bias as "flimsy". Goldstone presented a report in New York earlier this month, condemning war crimes in Gaza. In response to his address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Israeli ambassador said the report was based on carefully selected incidents cherry picked for political effect.
Goldstone recommends that the UN Security Council require Israel and the Palestinian authorities to investigate the findings of his report. However he told journalists that he was not very optimistic that Israel would do so and that he had had no clear response from the authorities in Gaza.
MaximsNewsNetwork: News Network for the United Nations and the International Community. See: http://www.MaximsNews.com. "GIVING POWER & RESONANCE TO THE VOICE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY" .