RAMALLAH, Feb 6 (JMCC) - Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations are asking the United Nations human rights chief to follow up on a UN report alleging war crimes by Israel
and Palestinian armed groups.
UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories
, including Gaza, starting on Sunday where she will meet leaders from both sides.
Over two years have passed since the end of the Israeli offensive 'Operation Cast Lead
' on the Gaza Strip, and justice for victims has yet to be addressed, wrote 13 human rights groups in a February 4 letter to Pillay.
Should these victims give up on the UN in their search for accountability? Or is there a way out from the prevailing culture of impunity?
The Goldstone report
details war crimes allegedly carried out during Israel's 28-day war in the Gaza Strip in 2008 and 2009. Passed by the United Nations human rights council in October 2009, the general assembly subsequently called for investigations by Israel and Palestinians.
In Israel, only one soldier has been punished for actions during the war, and Palestinians have not carried out their own investigations into the actions of Palestinian armed groups.
The letter from human rights groups went on to charge the Palestinian Authority
with undermining the rights of Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority, entrusted to uphold the interests of the Palestinian people before the UN and diplomatic community, has undermined the Goldstone recommendations by capitulating to external political pressures.
Documents released by Wikileaks and al-Jazeera appear to show that the Palestinian Authority was pressured by the United States to delay presentation of the report, thus losing momentum and legitimacy for possible war crimes prosecutions.