Former Israeli High Court Justice Advices Mazuz To Probe Gaza War 18Jan10 January 19, 2010

IMEMC -  18 January 2010


In an attempt to respond to the Goldstone report on the war on Gaza, and after officially rejecting it, former High Court Justice in Israel, Aharon Barak, advised the legal counselor of the Israeli government, Mini Mazuz, to form an official government committee to probe Israel’s war on Gaza. Barak said that responding to the report of South African Judge, Richard Goldstone, requires Israel to form a committee that has the needed powers and jurisdiction to question the officials and interview witnesses.

Israeli sources reported that Mazuz is still hesitant on whether an official committee should be formed or on forming another legal body that would examine the details of Goldstone’s report, or whether Israel should just stick to its official stance as the country claimed its army investigated the war and found out that the soldiers “did not violate the international law”.

It is worth mentioning that Israel’s Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, objects to any external committee and refuses to recognize the Goldstone report.

When Goldstone and his team were instructed by the United Nations to head to the Middle East and investigate War Crimes allegations, Israel refused to show him any sort of cooperation unlike the cooperation offered and practiced by Hamas.

The South African Judge said that both Israel and Hamas violated the International Law by firing shells into civilian areas.

But the Israeli army used its advanced military superiority in shelling civilian areas in the Gaza Strip, including homes, mosques, schools, medical facilities and medics, bridges, educational facilities and even UNRWA facilities.

Israeli sources reported that senior officials of Israel’s ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, and Military Prosecution are interested in recruiting Judge Barak to respond to the Goldstone report. They are also interested in granting the Israeli Army legal authorities to conduct the needed investigations.

The sources added that a legal or governmental committee probing the war would make it easier to the United States to Veto any UN resolution against Israel, and would make it easier to Veto any decision to refer the file to the International Court at The Hague.

During the three-week war on Gaza one year ago, Israeli killed more than 1419 Palestinians, and wounded thousands of residents. Most of the casualties were civilians, women, children and elderly. The number of slain Palestinians arrived to more than 1600 as dozens died of their wounds.

Thirteen Israelis were killed during the war; 9, including soldiers, were killed by Palestinian fire and shells, and four were killed by “Friendly Fire”.

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