UN Human Rights Council to Investigate Israeli War Crimes
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
From its 1947-48 war of aggression on historic Palestine to the present day, Israeli regimes committed the highest of high crimes of war, against humanity, and other atrocities against millions of long-suffering Palestinians — as well as on neighboring nations the Jewish state attacked preemptively.
There’s no ambiguity whatever about the above reality. Overwhelming evidence is indisputable.
Yet Israel remains unaccountable for flagrant breaches of the UN Charter, Nuremberg Code, Fourth Geneva, and other international laws — for nearly 75 years.
Will what’s unacceptable change ahead?
In December 2019, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the following:
“Today, I announce that following a thorough, independent and objective assessment of all reliable information available to my Office, the preliminary examination into the Situation in Palestine has concluded with the determination that all the statutory criteria under the Rome Statute for the opening of an investigation have been met,” adding:
“I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine, pursuant to article 53(1) of the Statute.”
“I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”
Referring to summer 2014 Operation Protective Edge, she said the following:
“The Israel Defense Forces intentionally launched disproportionate attacks in relation to at least three incidents which the ICC has focused, as well as intentionally directing an attack against objects or persons using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions.”
So far, the ICC issued no formal pronouncement of Israeli guilt.
With heavy US/Western pressure on its prosecutors, the jury is very much out on what ruling they’ll make on the Jewish state and its culpable officials.
The Rome Statute empowers the ICC to investigate breaches of international law.
Whether its prosecutors will use its mandate to find Israel guilty of crimes of war and against humanity remains to be seen.
The same goes for the UN Human Rights Council.
On May 27, it held a special session to address “the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”
On Wednesday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet said the following:
Heightened tensions followed threatened Israeli “evictions of Palestinian families and their forced displacement in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, to make way for settlers,” as well as Israeli violence “against peaceful protesters and worshippers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
“On other occasions…(Israeli security forces) resorted to crowd control means utilizing excessive force, including physical violence, which inflamed tensions.”
For 11 days in May, Israel launched “intense airstrikes in Gaza including shelling, missiles fired from fighter aircraft and attacks from the sea.”
“Israeli attacks resulted in extensive civilian deaths and injuries, as well as large-scale destruction and damage to civilian objects.”
“Those include governmental buildings, residential homes and apartment buildings, international humanitarian organizations, medical facilities, media offices and roads connecting civilians to essential services such as hospitals.”
“The result was their partial or total destruction.”
“Despite Israel’s claims that many of these buildings were hosting armed groups or being used for military purposes, we have not seen evidence in this regard.”
There is none!
IDF “strikes raise serious concerns of Israel’s compliance with the principles of distinction and proportionality under international humanitarian law.”
“If found to be indiscriminate and disproportionate in their impact on civilians and civilian objects, such attacks may constitute war crimes.”
As Bachelet and world community of nations know, Israeli war on Gaza for the 4th time since December 2008 deliberately committed war crimes against two million Gazans — along with crimes against humanity daily throughout the Occupied Territories.
Bachelet: Gazan “civilians have virtually no protection against airstrikes and military operations carried out in one of the most densely populated areas of the world.”
“They have no place to escape to, due to the Israeli land, air and sea blockade that has been in place for the last 14 years.”
Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories “have the right to live safely and freely in their homes, with adequate and essential services and opportunities, and with respect for their right to life and physical integrity.”
“(R)eality of the occupation…is that they are instead systematically deprived of fundamental rights and freedoms due to every human being.”
“I am also extremely troubled by the documented incidents of settlers using live ammunition to attack Palestinians, in some cases alongside Israeli security forces.”
“(I)nside Israel (the Netanyahu regime condones and encourages) mob violence and riots (against) Palestinian citizens of Israel and ultra-right-wing groups, reinforced by Israeli settlers” and security forces.
On Wednesday by a vote of 24 states in favor, 9 against, and 14 abstentions, the 47-member Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to create a permanent Commission of Inquiry (COI) to monitor and report on international law breaches in the Occupied Territories and Israel.
Its mandate is to gather evidence of crimes of war and against humanity for legal action — to identify perpetrators and hold them accountable.
The Netanyahu regime vowed no cooperation with the COI.
Defying reality, the Biden regime’s UN mission in Geneva falsely claimed that creation of the COI “threatens to imperil the progress that has been made (sic).”
For the past 73 years, none whatever was achieved — nothing supporting fundamental Palestinian rights as affirmed by international law.
Chances for imposing punishment with teeth on Israeli political and military officials for crimes too grievous to ignore are virtually nil — even if pronounced guilty, as they should be, by the ICC and/or Human Rights Council.
A Final Comment
According to unnamed senior Israeli military officials, 11 days of war on Gaza left unfinished business.
More smashing of the Strip and Hamas is needed, they claim.
Do they intend inventing a phony pretext for resuming aggression on Gaza?
Perhaps more war on the Strip is coming ahead, Hamas to be falsely blamed for Israeli aggression.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”
“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”