04.04.11 – 13:37
Ramallah – PNN – Commenting on Richard Goldstone’s recent opinion piece published in the Washington Post last week, PLO Executive Committee member and MP Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said on Sunday that instead of caving in to Israeli pressure, Judge Goldstone was expected to show an unwavering commitment to international law.
South African judge Richard Goldstone headed the UN investigation on the Israeli Cast Led operation on Gaza, which started on December 27 2008 at ended on January 17 2009. During the 22 day long attack, Israel killed 1400 Palestinians and injured 5000 others. 13 Israelis were killed, including 3 civilians and 10 soldiers during the attack.
“Richard Goldstone’s attempt to rewrite the facts about Israel’s devastating military assault on Gaza is not only deeply disappointing, it falls far short of the standards of impartiality and an unwavering commitment to international law expected of someone in his position and of his stature”. Dr Ashrawi said “While he has come under relentless attack within Israel ever since the publication of the Goldstone report, Judge Goldstone is the last person we expected to succumb to that pressure.”
The Goldstone report lists a number of incidents in which Palestinian civilians were intentionally targeted and attacked by the Israeli military, as well as used as human shields. It condemns Israel’s use of white phosphorous and flechette missiles in built-up areas, and its deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure, including the destruction of industrial infrastructure, food production, water instillations, sewerage treatment and residential housing. Most famous incident Israeli tanks used white phosphors to shells a UN school in Gaza City that was used a refugee shelter.
Dr Ashrawi said that “For over 500 pages, the Goldstone report documents in meticulous detail the deliberate targeting of Gaza’s civilian population by Israel, and the unprecedented scale of human devastation and loss that followed. Goldstone’s about face in response to Israeli pressure simply does not add up against the mountain of evidence presented in the report he chaired.”
Dr Ashrawi hinted that Goldstone recent article may give the needed justification that Israeli needs to attack the Gaza Strip. The Emergency and Ambulance High Commission based in the Gaza Strip issued a report saying that since the start of this year Israeli attacks targeting the costal enclave left 32 Palestinians dead and 118 others injured; noting an increase of an increase of fatality numbers compared to 15 Palestinians killed 70 others injured by Israeli attacks during the same period in 2010.
“Goldstone’s comments not only do a grave injustice to the many Palestinians whose lives were lost and whose livelihoods were shattered during Israel’s devastating assault on Gaza. They also have the potential to open the door for further aggression against Gaza’s population at a time when some in Israel are openly advocating another assault on Gaza.” Dr Ashrawi stated.
She concluded her statement by saying that “Palestinians will continue to have recourse to all international legal venues in the pursuit of our basic rights and freedoms denied us by Israel.”
Source: Palestinian Liberation Organization – PLO – Department of Culture and Information