By not allowing UN representatives to enter its territory to conduct proper research into the allegations of war crimes and mass murder, Israel condemns itself to being labeled as a genocidal regime.
The Government of Israel has denied entry to the country to the investigating committee appointed in August by the Human Rights Council of the UN, which aimed to clarify whether war crimes were committed in Gaza this summer during the Israeli attacks on Gaza.
The three specialists, led by Canadian William Schabas, are in Jordan, where they asked for permission to cross into Israel.
Their intention was to enter Gaza from Erez, a place controlled by the Israeli authorities in the northern Gaza Strip or through the south passage, the Rafah border with Egypt, which is currently closed.
While the Israeli government denied entry to the UN representatives, Egypt says that it closed the southern border because of “security” reasons, due to the terrorist attacks in recent months in the Sinai region and ensures that this measure was taken in accordance with “Egyptian sovereignty.”
In practice, therefore, it is impossible now for the UN representatives to do their fieldwork to hand out their conclusion in March next year.
The mandate of the UN requires them to analyze not only the actions of the Israeli authorities during their military operations in Gaza, which resulted in the murder of thousands of people, but also the actions of the Palestinian militias in Gaza.
The intention is to verify whether there were war crimes committed against both Gazans and Jews and whether any wrongdoings can be classified as crimes against humanity or genocide to the two sides of the border.
The UN confirmed in August that it would include in its investigation the actions of Fatah and the occupied West Bank.
The commission said, from its headquarters in Geneva, that it will not give an opinion about Israel’s denial of entry.
A spokesman for the group, however, explained that the representation of the UN “is holding interviews in Amman, Jordan, with persons including witnesses who can provide information related to the events under investigation.”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said in the summer that initial investigations point to a “strong possibility” that these crimes have occurred on both sides. In total, some 2,200 people died and 11,000 were injured in Gaza.
Most of the people murdered and injured were civilians.
Additionally, at least 50,000 houses were destroyed by the Israeli army, which left over 500,000 people displaced.
On the Israeli side, 72 people were killed, six civilians and 66 military operatives.
Last week, Amnesty International issued a report accusing Israel of “callous indifference” to the lives of civilians in Gaza during the last military operation.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has issued a note explaining that in addition to preventing access to the UN team, it will also refuse to cooperate with them by providing information or evidence as requested.
If the UN committee can not get information about the Israeli massacre in Gaza by other means, its research will be limited to collecting testimonies indirectly.
The Israeli minister, Avigdor Lieberman said in September that his intention was not to provide any documents to “provide no legitimacy” to the commission.
Israel bases its denial on the fact that “the final report has been written and that the only thing left is to choose someone to sign it.” Israel is convinced that the report will find the country guilty of committing crimes against humanity, as the Human Rights Council is “obsessed”, with it.
The appointment of Schabas as group leader deeply angered the government in Tel Aviv, as in the past this professor of Criminal International Law and president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars has made statements against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which supposedly guarantees that he is brought to the International Criminal Court.
“Since Schabas’s Commission is not research group, but a commission that gives its conclusions in advance, Israel will not cooperate,” said the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nashhon, in a statement.
It is not a new position, as Israel also refused to cooperate with the Goldstone Commission which investigated the so-called Operation Cast Lead, the name of the previous military incursion in Gaza back in Christmas 2008.
Shabas, meanwhile, told the media that his comments had been “taken out of context” and that he does not deny his views with respect to the actions of Israel.
Schabas then nuanced, via email, that he would try to be as “fair and objective as possible” to investigate possible war crimes allegedly committed by the Israeli army during Operation Protective Edge.
According to the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, the president of the UN commission also defended former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, considered one of the greatest enemies of Israel, and the United States.
Schabas, in the same conversation with this newspaper in August, described the allegations as “absurd” and “dishonest”.
In addition to the UN Commission, a European delegation composed of 13 MEPs has just returned to Brussels from the Middle East. According to these members of the European Parliament, the European Union should break diplomatic ties with Israel and “implement sanctions against the country” for the war crimes it committed against Gazans.
“The delegation describes what Israel has done to the people of Gaza as genocide. The 50-day Israeli war on Gaza left thousands dead and tens of thousands wounded,” reports PressTV. The 13 members of the European Parliament have also accused the West of turning their back on the grave crimes that took place in Gaza.
The MP’s allege that Tel Aviv continues to break international law as it confiscates Palestinian land to build settlements.
The United Nations aid organisation, UNRWA, whose schools and shelters were bombed by Israel during Operation Protective Edge, says that it will cost around 800 million euro to rebuild basic and most needed infrastructure in Palestine. Most of this infrastructure was destroyed by Israel during its two0month invasion and bombardment of Palestinian territories.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute. Read more about Luis.