zaterdag 25 september 2010

VN: Israelische aanval Israël op hulpvloot voor Gaza is oorlogsmisdaad

Een onderzoek van mensenrechtenexperts van de Verenigde Naties heeft uitgewezen dat bij de raid van Israël op het Gaza-flotilla oorlogsmisdaden zijn gepleegd door opzettelijk te moorden. Het was verder een compleet onwettige actie onder het internationaal recht, zo meldt de Britse krant The Guardian.

Eerder had de VN-Veiligheidsraad de aanval al veroordeeld.

De verklaring van de VN


Israeli forces violated human rights and international humanitarian law during the 31 May incident involving a convoy of aid ships bound for Gaza, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s international, independent fact-finding mission has concluded.

In a 56-page report, the fact-finding mission, which is separate from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s four-member panel of inquiry into the same incident, found that the action of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in intercepting one of the ships, the Mavi Marmara, on the high sea was “clearly unlawful.”

Nine civilians lost their lives and several more were seriously injured in the incident against the flotilla that departed from Turkey and was trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, which has been the subject of an Israeli blockade since 2007.

“The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence,” the report states.

“It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality. Such conduct cannot be justified or condoned on security or any other grounds. It constituted grave violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law.”

The report, which was made public yesterday, presents a factual description of the events leading up to the interception of each of the six ships in the flotilla as well as a seventh ship intercepted on 6 June, the deaths of nine passengers and wounding of many others, and the detention of passengers in Israel and their deportation.

The three-member mission said there is clear evidence to support prosecutions of crimes such as wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, and wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.

It also voiced regret that the Israeli Government declined to cooperate with the mission, and that this is not the first time that this has happened.

“On yet another occasion of an enquiry into events involving loss of life at the hands of the Israeli military, the Government of Israel has declined to cooperate in an inquiry not appointed by it or on which it was significantly represented.”

The mission, chaired by Judge K. Hudson-Phillips, former judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, interviewed more than 100 witnesses in Geneva, London, Istanbul and Amman during the course of its work.

Sir Desmond de Silva, Queen’s Counsel, who was chief prosecutor of the Sierra Leone War Crimes Tribunal, and Shanthi Dairiam, human rights expert of Malaysia and former member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, are also on the team, which will present its report to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council next week. (VN: sept 23, 2010)

Zie ook in de Britse krant The Guardian:
"UN panel accuses Israel of war crimes for 'unlawful' assault on Gaza flotilla"

Zie ook:
VN-Veiligheidsraad veroordeelt dodelijke aanval op Gaza-hulpkonvooi

vrijdag 23 juli 2010

Ban Ki-moon spoort Israelische en Palestijnse leiders aan tot krachtige stappen naar vrede


With the coming weeks critical in moving towards direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the leaders of both sides to surmount domestic political pressures and take “bold steps” to achieve peace in the region.

With proximity talks under way, “it is vital for the parties to refrain from provocations and seize this opportunity,” Mr. Ban said in a message to a United Nations meeting under way in Lisbon, Portugal.

A two-State solution is vital for Israel “to maintain its democratic character and identity and gain security and legitimacy throughout the region,” he stressed, adding that it is also essential for Palestinians “to achieve genuine freedom and national self-determination, and to end the occupation.”

In the address, delivered by Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Mr. Ban cautioned that the clock is ticking for a two-State solution.

Earlier this month, in a move welcomed by the Secretary-General and other UN officials, the Israeli Government announced it was increasing the scope and quantity of materials allowed into Gaza. Since then, new food and productive items have entered the Strip and the volume of imports into the area has risen steadily.

Mr. Ban today welcomed recent Israeli moves towards a new policy on Gaza, but stressed that “full and swift implementation is crucial, as are further measures beyond those announced,” as well as an end to the blockade.

For its part, he emphasized, Hamas should enforce an extended ceasefire and move ahead with Egypt’s reconciliation proposals with the “legitimate Palestinian Authority of President [Mahmoud] Abbas.”

On the issue of prisoners, the Secretary-General said that he continues to call for the conclusion of a prisoner exchange agreement. “It serves no Palestinian interest to keep Corporal Gilad Shalit in captivity; access should be granted to him and he should be released,” Mr. Ban said about the Israeli soldier who has been detained for more than four years.

The media seminar being held in the Portuguese capital is the 18th such gathering organized by the UN Department of Public Information (DPI), and aims to sensitize public opinion on the issue of Palestine and the peace process.

“The growing use of new media in the Middle East offers truly exciting opportunities to reach wider audiences, particularly young people,” the Secretary-General said today.

“I encourage young Israelis and Palestinians to use these new tools to spread positive messages that will encourage a culture of peace, coexistence and better understanding between their people”

The focus of this year’s gathering is the role of women from both sides in achieving security in the Middle East, with this year marking the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the historic Security Council resolution 1325, which stresses the importance of giving women equal participation and full involvement in peace and security matters.

“The core message of that landmark text – sustainable peace is possible only with the perspectives, leadership and full participation of women – is one we must take to heart in all regions, including the Middle East,” Mr. Ban told the Lisbon event, voicing hope that both sides will step up women’s involvement in the search for peace.

Some 120 people from the region, including both Israelis and Palestinians, and from the rest of the world are expected to attend the two-day seminar which kicked off today, including Government officials, representatives of civil society organizations, academics and journalists.

Five panel sessions will be held during the seminar on topics such as the role of the Israeli and Palestinian media in reducing tensions and the part that mayors from both sides can play in advancing peace.

The participants include Jorge Sampaio, the former Portuguese president and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, set up under UN auspices to promote better cross-cultural relations worldwide, and Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

(UN: New York, Jul 22 2010)