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Israel under pressure as war crimes debate opens

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Israel under pressure as war crimes debate opens


A debate on the UN’s Goldstone report alleging Israeli war crimes in Gaza is to be re- opened by the Human Rights Council in Geneva today.

It follows a heated discussion at the UN Security Council. The Palestinians have demanded the debate be brought forward from March after the Israelis continued their refusal to recognise Goldstone. Palestinian Ambassador, Riyad Mansour said: “We are entering a new culture of accountability and this process is not a short process. It’s a long process, but we are all determined to defend international law, international humanitarian law and bring the criminals to face justice.” Israel’s UN Ambassador, Gabriela Shalev dismissed the report saying it legitimised terrorism: “We reject the Goldstone report. It’s one sided. It’s biased.” Richard Goldstone was asked to look at the conduct of Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas during the Dec-January war. He concluded that both were possibly responsible for war crimes but was more critical of Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attracted anger from his own side when after pressure from the US he agreed to delay discussion of the report. Washington feared it would jeopardize attempts to revive the Middle East peace process.

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