Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Israel's response to the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry

From the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22 June 2015:

Israel is studying the Commission of inquiry Report (COI) from the United Nations' Human Rights Council (UNHRC). However, some initial comments can be made about the COI process in general:

1. It is well known that the entire process that led to the production of this report was politically motivated and morally flawed from the outset. Just as Israel seriously considers every complaint, no matter its origin, it will also seriously study this report. We take note of the fact that the authors of the report admitted that they lacked much of the relevant information.

It is regrettable that the report fails to recognize the profound   difference between Israel's moral behavior during Operation Protective Edge and the terror organizations it confronted.

2. This report was commissioned by a notoriously biased institution, given an obviously biased mandate, and initially headed by the grossly biased chairperson, William Shabas. The UNHRC has a singular obsession with Israel, passing more country-specific resolutions against Israel than Syria, Iran, and North Korea combined- in fact, more than against all other countries combined. The commission of inquiry's mandate presumed Israel's guilt from the start and its original chairman, William Shabas, was compelled to resign due to a blatant conflict of interest (paid work for the Palestinians), which he concealed from the United Nations.

3. The COI also lacked the necessary tools and expertise to conduct a professional and serious examination of armed conflict situations.

Israel will consider the report in light of these essential failings. It would encourage all fair-minded observers to do the same.

4. Israel is a democracy committed to the rule of law, forced to defend itself against Palestinian terrorists who commit a double war crime: They indiscriminately target Israeli civilians while deliberately endangering Palestinian civilians, including children, by using them as human shields.

5. In defending itself against attacks, Israel's military acted according to the highest international standards. This was confirmed by a comprehensive examination by Israeli military and legal experts, as well as reports produced by internationally renowned military professionals.

Israel will continue to uphold its commitment to the law of armed conflict despite the brutal tactics of its enemies. Israel will continue to investigate alleged wrongdoings in accordance with international standards and to cooperate with those UN bodies that conduct themselves in an objective, fair and professional manner.

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