UN Committee starts collecting testimonies in Gaza 16Aug10 August 17, 2010
IMEMC -Â 16 August 2010
A U.N. special committee started Sunday collecting testimonies from residents in the Gaza Strip, the process is an implementation of recommendations set by the report of Judge Richard Goldstone who headed the U.N. Committee that investigated Israelâs war on Gaza during the period between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009; 1450 Palestinians, mainly civilians, died by Israeli fire shells and thousands were wounded.
Members of the committee held meetings with representatives of different human rights groups and collected testimonies from victims and their families.
The committee was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council; it arrived in Gaza on Saturday evening via the Rafah Border Terminal between Gaza and Egypt. Committee members intend to remain in Gaza until August 17.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) stated that its officials informed members of the UN Committee on their experiences in dealing with Israeli courts especially since Israel is not interested in a thorough investigation and refused to cooperate with the UN Committee.
The PCHR issued a press release stating that its officials focused on the 1046 cases filed against Israeli army officials and political leaders and additional 490 cases filed on behalf of 1046 victims. The cases were filed to the Israeli Military Prosecution demanding Israel to investigate them.
The U.N. Committee will submit its report to the Human Rights Council this coming September; Israel refused to cooperate with it and claimed that its own investigation led to the conclusion that the army acted within the conduct of war and did not violate the International Law.
During the war, Israel bombarded and shelled civilian facilities including hospitals, homes and apartment buildings, medical centers, infrastructure, mosques, educational facilities and even hospitals and medical centers.