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January 15, 2015 11:09 am

Unofficial Israeli Delegation Testifies at UN Gaza Inquiry Despite Government Absence

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The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland is investigating Operation Protective Edge. Several Israelis reportedly spoke up in defense of Israel at a hearing for the probe in Geneva. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – While the Israeli government is officially boycotting the William Schabas-led United Nations investigation into last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, several Israelis reportedly gave the Jewish state a voice at a hearing for the probe in Geneva on Wednesday.

Gadi Yarkoni—the economic coordinator of Kibbutz Nirim, who lost his legs after being hit by a mortar shell—and Eshkol Regional Council Chairman Haim Yellin gave their testimony as part of a larger unofficial delegation of residents from the western Negev that was assembled by the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.

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The Israeli government approved the delegation’s travel to Geneva and their testimony, but made it clear that the witnesses were not considered official Israeli representatives.

The Schabas Commission said that it heard the testimony of “many witnesses both from Israel and from the occupied Palestinian territories,” but did not reveal the identity of the witnesses in order to “protect” them.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government continues to express its disapproval with Schabas’s investigation. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said Tuesday that “the Schabas Commission was born in sin, and its continuing activity is a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies.”

“The commission was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, a body known for its vilification of and hatred for Israel,” said Nahshon, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. “The commission’s mandate is twisted, and its chair is committing a fundamentally unjust sin by already expressing his opinion on Israel, and determined in advance that Israel committed war crimes. If Schabas were a decent person, he would have had to resign a long time ago. Nevertheless, Israel will not prevent any Israeli citizen from having their say before international bodies and institutions.”

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  • loomy2

    One last question if I may…

    Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said: ” Israel will not prevent any Israeli citizen from having their say before international bodies and institutions.”

    This is to be commended but why then is Israel preventing Palestinians from having their say before international bodies and institutions..or even joining them?

    The Palestinians want to be part of the U.N but are strongly discouraged from being allowed to do so.The Palestinians want to join the ICC and Israel retaliates by withholding monies and tax receipts that belong to the Palestinians and encourages America to withdraw aid from Palestine unless they cease their attempts to join the ICC.

    Why can’t they join the ICC or any body they want? Are you their Masters? what concern to Israel if they join the U.N or ICC neither body can do anything you don’t let them do or agree to do?

    So by what right do you have to prevent or stop these people from doing thus…and if you are preventing and threatening them if they do…does that mean they are yours to decide and control?

    That they have no rights? That you are their masters? That is NOT right nor morally acceptable is it?

  • loomy2

    I say this with no intended disrespect or rancor towards Israel but must ask: Seriously, is there ANY body, organisation, grouping, or committee that Israel WILL accept a study or investigation into the actions undertaken by Both sides in the recent Gaza (or any previous) Gaza operations/conflict/self defense operations?

    Surely the Palestinians have a basic right to have a body/group/organisation look into their concerns and complaints (as Israel does in regards to their concerns and complaints regarding Hamas actions etc)

    But to say that the IDF will investigate all and any incidents including its actions and behaviors in regards to the Rights of the the Gazans to get redress…is just plain wrong and no matter how moral or civil the IDF is or says it is…it is NEVER the norm for ANY invading army or involved Combatant group to investigate itself and the concerns of those they attacked or defended against.

    So I ask this very simple and I think fair question to Israel: who would you consider acceptable and a fair and an impartial judge to investigate both Yourselves and Hamas in regards to the the recent actions in Gaza?

    It has to be somebody…otherwise you are saying that (whether its true or not or ever would be done) you can do whatever you want to whomever you want and no matter how wrong it may be what you do…neither yourselves should be accountable and worse…those whose your attention and actions are directed against should have no recourse whatsoever to have a say or have their condition or any injustice done to them or not…looked at by anybody for any reason…

    Please…I am asking a reasonable question that should have a straight forward answer…will anyone provide me or anyone else with one please?

    Thank You.

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