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Wednesday June 23, 2010 10:07 AM (EST+7)
Report: Palestinians supported watered-down UN flotilla resolution

Read more: Freedom Flotilla, Gaza convoy, closure, blockade, aid convoy, Gaza convoy, investigation, inquiry, Turkey, European Union

RAMALLAH, June 23 (JMCC) - Palestinian officials appear to have supported a watered-down version of a resolution before the United Nations human rights body calling for an independent investigation of Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla last month.

According to documents published by the Electronic Intifada, the Palestinian Authority appears to have sided with European states against Turkey in accepting an internal probe from Israel into the events that killed nine Palestinian activists.

Apparently written by a European delegate, the document's amendments would have seriously diluted Turkey's original wording. The most damaging change would have removed the call for an independent UN investigation under HRC auspices. The document was provided to EI by a source who described how it was obtained inside the UN Office at Geneva, and asked to remain anonymous.

Turkey rejected the EU-PA amendments, and the final resolution on 2 June declared that the council Decides to dispatch an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international humanitarian and human rights law resulting from the Israeli attacks (The Grave Attacks by Israeli Forces against the Humanitarian Boat Convoy, United Nations Human Rights Council, Fourteenth session, A/HRC/14/L.1, Adopted on 2 June 2010).

The language in the final resolution was very similar to the January 2009 HRC resolution which led to the Goldstone report, the independent investigation that detailed war crimes committed during Israel's 2008-09 invasion of Gaza.

Yet annotations apparently made by a European diplomat on the draft resolution obtained by EI make it clear that the PA consented to removal of this wording. A PA-backed alternative paragraph instead proposed that the HRC: Requests the UN Secretary-General to ensure a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to the [sic] international standards.

This difference is key because the Turkish wording specifically calls for an investigation under the authority of the HRC. Yet the weaker EU-PA version would have allowed the UN secretary-general to merely endorse an Israeli-led inquiry provided he considered it credible.

The Palestinian Authority was criticized for undermining attempts to bring Israel before an international tribunal for war crimes alleged in a United Nations report on Israel's war in Gaza.

Read more at the Electronic Intifada...






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