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Zabougornov
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Зарегистрирован: 06.03.2005
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Откуда: Обер-группен-доцент, ст. руководитель группы скоростных свингеров, он же Забашлевич Оцаат Поэлевич

СообщениеДобавлено: Пятница, 29 Январь 2010, 16:04:17    Заголовок сообщения: Ответить с цитатой

Израиль передал ООН свой отчёт о войне в Газе. Очень интересно было бы почитать....... Надеюсь ООН его опубликует.....

Barak: Israel submits response to Goldstone report on Gaza
By Haaretz Service and DPA
Tags: Hamas, Israel news, Gaza war
Friday marks three-month limit set by General Assembly for internal report on Operation Cast Lead.


Israel submitted to the United Nations its response to the allegations of war crimes made in the Goldstone commission report which investigated the Israel Defense Forces' offensive in the Gaza Strip last year, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Friday.

Friday marks the three-month deadline set by the United Nations General Assembly for issuing its own report on the Israel-Hamas fighting in Gaza Strip.

"This morning we handed the UN a report of the investigations and operations that took place during Operation Cast Lead," Barak, who was speaking at a Jewish National Fund tree-planting ceremony near the Negev town of Omer, said. "This report stresses that the IDF is like no other army, both from a moral standpoint as well as from a professional standpoint."
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"The Goldstone Report is a distorted, false, and irresponsible report," Barak said. "All of the soldiers and officers whom we sent to battle need to know that the state of Israel stands behind them even on the day after."

It was not clear if UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will have received enough information from the two sides to produce the requested report. Ban had been asked by the 192-nation assembly to produce a report based on accounts to be provided by the two warring parties.

The General Assembly has already endorsed the controversial investigation led by South African Judge Richard Goldstone on the 22-day fighting between December 2008 and January 2009.

Israel said late on Thursday night that it would issue on Friday its own formal response to Goldstone's findings, Israel Radio reported. The government is expected to present the UN with a justification for IDF actions in Gaza - without referring specifically to claims made in the document.

The Goldstone report, which was commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, charged both Israel and Hamas with war crimes and acts that amounted to crimes against humanity, saying that the conflict dominated by Israel's military superiority had killed 1,400 Palestinians and caused widespread damage to properties in Gaza.

The council had urged the General Assembly to debate the report and then refer the alleged crimes to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. That proposal has so far been ignored.

Instead, the General Assembly asked for its own report based on submissions from both sides - following another recommendation from the 547-page Goldstone report that both Israel and Hamas conduct their own investigations.

On Wednesday, Ban said he planned to produce the report.

But he added: "I have not seen anything yet, so I am not in a position to tell you what my report will be. I will have to report within three months, and the three months is now coming to an end."

There were indications that Israel plans to send the results of its own investigation by Friday.

Judge Goldstone's 547-page report was promptly and strongly denounced by Israel and the United States as biased against Israel. They said its findings were flawed.

But the Israeli government last year answered some of the specific charges in the report, and last week sent the UN a check for 10.5 million dollars to compensate for damage to UN properties in Gaza. The UN had demanded more than 11 million dollars.

Hamas militants in Gaza roundly supported the Goldstone report.
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СообщениеДобавлено: Суббота, 30 Январь 2010, 20:28:30    Заголовок сообщения: Ответить с цитатой

Израиль опубликовал свой отчёт
http://www.haaretz.com/hasite/images/iht_daily/D290110/Gaza%20Operation%20Investigations%20An%20Update.pdf
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СообщениеДобавлено: Воскресенье, 31 Январь 2010, 20:58:37    Заголовок сообщения: Ответить с цитатой

http://www.euronews.net/2010/01/30/erdogan-deflects-reform-criticism-questions-eu-honesty/
Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, just before the Euronews launch of broadcasting in Turkish, spoke with us on a range of topics, from Turkey’s negotiations aimed at eventual full membership in the European Union to Cyprus, relations with Israel, and questions on the Kurdish minority and Armenia.

Euronews, Ali Ishan Aydin: “Accession negotiations with the EU are too slow. Whereas Brussels criticises Turkey for delaying reforms, you accuse some of the European leaders of obstructing Turkey. As we speak, eight chapters [out of a total of 35 policy areas] are blocked by the European Commission; five are blocked by France; some chapters are blocked by the Republic of Cyprus — leaving four chapters of negotiations which can be opened. So, what do you think about the membership talks’ future?”

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan: “Unfortunately, some of the EU member states are not acting honestly. This is where a problem arises. Why am I saying this? Because they are trying to corner Turkey with conditions that do not exist in the acquis communautaire [the total accumulated body of EU law]. This is really wrong. We have to bear in mind that we leaders are mortal but that nations are not. A leader’s negative approach towards another country would negatively affect people’s perception in that country about the country of that leader.

0155 Euronews Nial: Are you talking about Mr Sarkozy?

0157 Erdogan: Yes. One can not easily comprehend what Mr Sarkozy does. But no matter what they do, or what kind of obstacles they put in front of us, we will keep walking, patiently. There is, certainly, an end to this. That will be the moment at which ALL the EU members say ‘We are not accepting Turkey.’ We will not stop until they say this.

0231 Euronews Ali: Do you think religious and cultural differences play a role in some EU leaders’ negative approach?

0240 Erdogan: The EU should not become a Christian club. The EU should not take part in a campaign of Islamophobia. Any country doing this must be warned. For instance, as the prime minister of Turkey, I am a leader who has wholeheartedly condemned anti-semitism and accepted it as a crime against humanity. But I am sensitive, too, when it comes to Islamophobia. Because I am a Muslim. And I can never tolerate anti-Islamism. As a Muslim, I defend my stance for as long as I must. No one CAN reconcile Islam with terror. And I, as a Muslim, and the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic, can not say ‘yes’ to anyone who dares to do so.

0339 Euronews Ali: What will happen if the talks on the reunification of Cyprus fail? What do you expect from Brussels, from the EU?

0350 Erdogan: Until now, the EU has not been honest on the Cyprus issue, either. Sixy-five percent of the voters in northern Cyprus said ‘yes’ to the United Nations’ Annan Plan. And what happened in the south? Seventy-five percent said ‘no’. Who is the honest party in this picture?: northern Cyprus. And the EU bears a great deal of responsibility for the current deadlock over Cyprus. They made a historical error in accepting southern Cyprus into the EU. Gerhard Schröder sharply criticised this policy of the EU saying ‘northern Cyprus was treated immorally’. Angela Merkel says ‘We made a mistake by accepting southern Cyprus’. This is what they said. But now we see that they are looking out for southern Cyprus! By the way, calling southern Cyprus ‘Cyprus’ is an other political mistake. Because in the north, there is another state, which is in conflict with the south. And we, as Turkey, recognised this state in the north. We are unwavering about this state. Others may speculate, but that is of no importance for us. The EU members will be remembered for having made this mistake. History will tell, in fact it already has.

0524 Euronews Nial: Do you expect to see Cyprus reunited in the near future?

0530 Erdogan: Southern Cyprus always avoids a direct approach. The EU must warn southern Cyprus. It must be seen that the peace process is a hostage.

0545 Euronews: Do you think it will take much longer to get this issue resolved?

0551 Erdogan: We are striving to resolve this issue this year. And we want it to be resolved under the umbrella of the UN. We can even do this including all five of the parties concerned; By this I mean northern and southern Cyprus, Turkey, Greece and the UK. We can solve this all together. A few days ago, Gordon Brown called me and asked what we thought of the idea of ‘doing this together’. There is no problem for us. We can come together and talk. What matters on this issue is being fair. If we set about doing this as the guarantor states, we have to know what the guarantees are. We hope for this issue to be resolved this year.

0653 Euronews Ali: About the Kurdish issue: You have taken a historical step, preparing a plan for a project to move forward with the Kurdish issue. How do you see the process at this moment?

0711 Erdogan: This has been one of the most important items on the agenda in recent days. But calling it a Kurdish issue will undermine, weaken this project. This project is one of national unity and friendship. It is not concentrated only on the Kurds. It is a democratic initiative, and the Kurdish issue is just one of the ethnic problems. But, unfortunately, this was misunderstood by western society. Because if one considers this as a Kurdish issue exclusively then one is being disrespectful to other ethnic groups which make up Turkey and the Turkish Nation. This plan, this project, covers all of them. We are working on other ethnic groups as well.

0808 Euronews Ali: How do you see the future of Turkey-Israel relations? After all that has happened, do you still think Turkey can mediate between Israel and Syria, and other Arab states?

0820 Erdogan: Israel should give some thought to what it would be like to lose a friend like Turkey in the future. The way they recently treated our ambassador has no place in international politics. We have done our best for Israel-Syria relations. But now we see Binjamin Netanyahu saying ‘I do not trust Erdogan, but I trust Sarkozy’. Do you have to give a name? This is diplomatic inexperience, too. Because when you say this… How can I trust you if you say you don’t trust me? We have important ongoing agreements between us. How can these agreements be kept going in this climate of mistrust? I think Israel had better take another look at its relations with its neighbours if it believes it is a world power.

0926 Euronews: In recent days the Israeli foreign ministry has accused you of being a cause of the rising tension between your two countries. In fact, it has accused you of anti-semitism. When you review how you handled this incident, do you feel YOU could have handled it more diplomatically?

0945 Erdogan: I am telling the truth…And I will keep telling the truth. Turkey has an age-old history as a state. When you talk to such a state you must be careful. When innocent civilians are ruthlessly killed, struck by phosphorus bombs, infrastructure is demolished in bombing and people are forced to live in an open-air prison… we can not see this as compatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, simply human rights, and we can not close our eyes to all this happening.

1030 Euronews: Prime Minister, the constitutional court of Armenia’s interpretation of the Turkish-Armenian protocols aimed at normalising mutual ties antagonised Ankara. How will this affect Turkey’s policies?

1046 Erdogan: Well, we appear to have got off to an unhealthy start. What are we negotiating about? What are we going to do? Armenia should once again take this into consideration, because we fulfilled our protocol commitments. Both sides have road maps. The process will continue. We are fully prepared and sincere, and will proceed in the same way as we have so far.

Copyright © 2010 euronews
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СообщениеДобавлено: Воскресенье, 31 Январь 2010, 21:02:06    Заголовок сообщения: Ответить с цитатой

Цитата:
http://www.euronews.net/2010/01/30/erdogan-deflects-reform-criticism-questions-eu-honesty/
....
0808 Euronews Ali: How do you see the future of Turkey-Israel relations? After all that has happened, do you still think Turkey can mediate between Israel and Syria, and other Arab states?

0820 Erdogan: Israel should give some thought to what it would be like to lose a friend like Turkey in the future. The way they recently treated our ambassador has no place in international politics. We have done our best for Israel-Syria relations. But now we see Binjamin Netanyahu saying ‘I do not trust Erdogan, but I trust Sarkozy’. Do you have to give a name? This is diplomatic inexperience, too. Because when you say this… How can I trust you if you say you don’t trust me? We have important ongoing agreements between us. How can these agreements be kept going in this climate of mistrust? I think Israel had better take another look at its relations with its neighbours if it believes it is a world power.

0926 Euronews: In recent days the Israeli foreign ministry has accused you of being a cause of the rising tension between your two countries. In fact, it has accused you of anti-semitism. When you review how you handled this incident, do you feel YOU could have handled it more diplomatically?

0945 Erdogan: I am telling the truth…And I will keep telling the truth. Turkey has an age-old history as a state. When you talk to such a state you must be careful. When innocent civilians are ruthlessly killed, struck by phosphorus bombs, infrastructure is demolished in bombing and people are forced to live in an open-air prison… we can not see this as compatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, simply human rights, and we can not close our eyes to all this happening.
....

Полностью поддерживаю Эрдогана
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СообщениеДобавлено: Понедельник, 1 Февраль 2010, 14:40:46    Заголовок сообщения: Ответить с цитатой

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1146638.html
IDF denies disciplining top officers over white phosphorous use in Gaza war
By Anshel Pfeffer
Tags: IDF, Goldstone Gaza Report


The Israel Defense Forces on Monday denied that two of its senior officers had been summoned for disciplinary action after headquarters staff found that the men exceeded their authority in approving the use of phosphorus shells during last year's military campaign in the Gaza Strip, as the Israeli government wrote in a recent report.

In an official response provided to the United Nations over the weekend in response to last September's Goldstone Commission report, the government said that a brigadier general and another officer with the rank of colonel endangered human life during by firing white phosphorous munitions in the direction of a compound run by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

The government finding aknowledges, at least in part, allegations by international organizations.
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But the IDF on Monday flatly denied that Division Commander Brig. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg and Givati Brigade Commander Col. Ilan Malka been subject to disciplinary action by GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Gallant. It did not deny that the munitions were in fact used during the war, however.

The incident in question occurred on January 15 of last year, two days before the end of Operation Cast Lead, in the southern Gaza City neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa, at a time when the Givati brigade and other Israeli forces were in the area.

In the course of engagement with a Hamas squad, which according to IDF intelligence possessed advanced anti-tank missiles, it was decided to use phosphorus smoke munitions to create cover that would make it harder for the Hamas fighters to see the IDF soldiers.

According to Israeli intelligence, the Hamas forces were stationed in a commanding location from which they could easily see the soldiers and the UNRWA compound that was located between the Israeli forces and the Hamas position.

The munitions disperse hundreds of pieces of felt impregnated with phosphorus and at least some of the pieces fell into the UNRWA compound, causing injury to an UNRWA employee there as well as to two Palestinian civilians who took cover at the location.

Many human rights organizations said that the IDF had illegally used the phosphorus munitions, which are shot from 155 mm. cannon, and that the material caused many burn injuries among the Palestinian population. The IDF responded that the munitions were permitted under international conventions and that similar shells are in use by other Western armies. The army also contended that the munitions were used in locations remote from heavily -populated areas.

With the conclusion of Operation Cast Lead, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi ordered the convening of five special investigative committees each headed by an officer with the rank of colonel to examine some of the serious allegations leveled against the army. One of the committees examined the use of phosphorus shells.

After three months, at the end of April of last year, then deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen. Dan Harel presented the committees' findings and with respect to phosphorus munitions said that they had found no instances in which shells were fired in violation of orders and in any event, they were fired in open areas.

Nonetheless, the report that the Israeli government gave to the United Nations last Friday explicitly states that the two senior officers were disciplined after one of the investigating committees noted among its findings that they approved the firing of phosphorus shells at Tel al-Hawa "exceeding their authority in a manner that jeopardized the lives of others."

The report to the UN also says that Ashkenazi recently ordered the convening of a sixth committee to examine additional allegations made against the IDF as well as an incident which one of the previous panels had been unable to thoroughly probe.

The investigative teams have been looking into only the most serious and prominent of the allegations made as a result of Cast Lead. This is in addition to military police probes that were carried out, or are still in progress, into about 150 alleged incidents of improper conduct on the part of soldiers involving civilians and Palestinian property during the Gaza campaign.

Some of the incidents were raised in operational IDF debriefings held after Cast Lead, but most came to light following complaints by human rights organizations, individual Palestinian civilians and press reports. Twelve incidents were raised for the first time in the Goldstone Commission report, which was commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council.

In the course of the IDF investigations, about 500 soldiers were questioned and nearly 100 Palestinian civilians were interviewed at the Erez checkpoint on the Israel-Gaza border. As a result of the IDF's investigations, 36 criminal investigation files have been opened so far, but criminal legal proceedings have so far been opened in only one case, in which two Givati brigade soldiers were convicted of stealing a Palestinian civilian's credit card.

Dershowitz: Goldstone is a traitor to the Jews

Prominent political commentator and pro-Israel campaigner Professor Alan Dershowitz slammed jurist Richard Goldstone, the architect of a UN report which accuses Israel of Gaza war crimes, calling him a traitor to the Jewish people, Army Radio reported yesterday. Dershowitz and Goldstone were colleagues and close friends for many years before the UN Gaza probe, but once Goldstone published his report the ties between the two were severed. (Haaretz Staff)
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СообщениеДобавлено: Понедельник, 1 Февраль 2010, 14:44:13    Заголовок сообщения: Ответить с цитатой

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1146628.html
Israel has made a good case against Goldstone
By Amos Harel
Tags: IDF, Goldstone Gaza Report


Israel's detailed response to the Goldstone report shows that the country can, in fact, respond to accusations with more than complaints of anti-Semitism and endless repetitions of the mantra that "the Israel Defense Forces is the most moral army in the world."

Drawn up by the Foreign Ministry, the Justice Ministry and the IDF prosecutor's office, the document gives a wide-ranging and well-argued reply to many of the claims raised by Goldstone.

It also contains some interesting details that were never, for some reason, disclosed to the Israeli media and public about Operation Cast Lead.
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The most remarkable details concern the one time disciplinary measures were taken against senior Israeli commanders in the operation: Following what he saw as unjustified artillery fire at a Hamas compound in the Gaza City neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa, GOC Southern Command Yoav Gallant decided to officially reprimand two officers: a brigadier-general and a colonel.

Their names and the details of the reprimand are not specifically mentioned in the report.

The Golani brigade was known to be operating in the area where the shooting took place.

Another revelation is the fact that in November, the chief of staff set up a new General Staff investigative team to investigate one incident in which a mosque was destroyed and another in which many civilians were killed, and also to look into a number of complaints about inappropriate treatment of Palestinian prisoners.

Israel's detailed and well-argued report shows that the country has a reasonably good case against the Goldstone accusations. This naturally begs the question why Israeli leadership is so wary of a state commission of inquiry that could ostensibly clear up matters once and for all.

Any such obligation is missing from the report, as arguments in Israel continue on whether to set up an examination committee or a state commission of inquiry; as of now, it seems an examination committee will be set up, but its powers are yet to be defined. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu preferred to postpone the decision - hoping that either a consensus will be reached, or that the international pressure on Israel will ease, making it the committee unnecessary.
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СообщениеДобавлено: Среда, 10 Март 2010, 19:48:40    Заголовок сообщения: Ответить с цитатой

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1155507.html
European Parliament endorses Goldstone Gaza report
By Cnaan Liphshiz , Haaretz Correspondent, and The Associated Press

The European Parliament on Wednesday urged its 27-member states to monitor the Israeli and Palestinian probes into alleged war crimes committed during last year's late-winter conflict in Gaza.

The resolution backed the findings of a UN-appointed expert panel chaired by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, which concluded that both sides committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the war that began in December 2008 and ended in January 2009.

The parliamentary move, which would give the EU an unprecedented role in evaluating the progress of Israel's war crimes probe, was sharply criticized by Israel.
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"We find this resolution flawed and counterproductive," said Yoel Mester, spokesman for Israeli mission to EU. "While other players are striving to support the peace process and to start the proximity talks between Israel and Palestinians, it is regrettable that the European Parliament chooses to concentrate on a highly controversial issue."

In December, the EU accused Israel of trying to divide the bloc to stop it from passing a resolution calling for Jerusalem to be the shared capital of Israel and for a future Palestinian state. The measure was adopted despite Israel's opposition.

The European Union also has criticized Israel over its suspected role in the slaying of a Hamas militant in Dubai and the killers' alleged use of forged EU passports.

The European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also recently asked to be allowed to visit the Gaza Strip, which remains under Hamas control.

The European Parliament measure, passed by 335-287, said Ashton should monitor actively the implementation of recommendations included in the Goldstone report.

In January, the UN General Assembly gave the two sides five more months to finalize their own investigations into war crimes allegations during the conflict, in which 13 Israelis and almost 1,400 Palestinians were killed.

On Monday, Israel's Foreign Ministry said it would allow Ashton and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon into Gaza. Israel has routinely banned foreign officials from crossing into Gaza since Hamas' violent takeover of the strip in 2007, maintaining that such visits bolster the Islamic militant group.

The European Parliament also said it was "concerned" about "pressure placed on NGOs involved in the document's preparation."

Jewish leaders said they were "deeply disappointed" and puzzled by the motion.

"The clause referring to NGO is very puzzling," Arie Zuckerman, a senior executive of the European Jewish Congress, said, adding it was "an apparent reference" to a recent Israeli publicity campaign targeting the New Israel Fund for its role in the preparation the controversial report accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza last year.

"Europe, which preaches to Israel and to the whole world about freedom of expression, is now calling to stifle criticism ensured by freedom of expression because it's directed at the Goldstone report," said Zuckerman.

He added: "How is the campaign the business of the EP?"

Contacted by Haaretz, Professor Naomi Chazan, the president of the New Israel fund, which describes itself as a nongovernmental organization championing human rights in Israel, said she was not available for comment on this.

The campaign against the fund was launched by the Im Tirtzu movement, which describes itself as centrist Zionist. It cited a study which calculates that 92 percent of footnotes sourcing negative information to Israeli sources in the Goldstone report come from NIF grantees.

The European Parliament's resolution was a softened version of an earlier draft which called for implementing the Goldstone report. The draft was scrapped after European Jewish Congress Moshe Kantor warned party leaders that the resolution would damage EU-Israel relations.

The final resolution said EU member states should "demand the implementation of the Goldstone report's recommendations and accountability for all violations of international law."

Kantor told Haaretz last week that if the European Parliament adopts the Goldstone report, it will be the "strongest endorsement the document has received so far."

Zuckerman said the European Parliament "gave indirect endorsement to Hamas" by passing Wednesday's resolution on the Goldstone report, and added it "damaged the peace process with the Palestinians."

"The fact that over 45 percent of MEPs voted against the resolution is cause for some satisfaction," Kantor said. "The resolution passed by only a narrow margin, and not the consensus that was expected."

The European United Left-Nordic Green Left (EUL-NGL) - which has 25 MEPs - meanwhile, said it welcomed the European Parliament's resolution.

MEP Kyriacos Triantaphyllides from the group said: "For the first time, a resolution voted in the European Parliament acknowledges Israeli's violations of international humanitarian law."

The party called "for the immediate adoption of its findings by EU Member States and the implementation of its recommendations," demanding, "that no upgrading of EU - Israel Association Agreement is conceded given the violations committed by Israel.
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СообщениеДобавлено: Вторник, 23 Март 2010, 16:52:28    Заголовок сообщения: Ответить с цитатой

http://www.newsru.com/world/23mar2010/israel.html
Израильская армия опровергает обвинения в совершении военных преступлений в Газе

Израильская армия опровергает обвинения в совершении военных преступлений в Газе

Министерство обороны Израиля подготовило доклад, целью которого является опровержение обвинений, выдвинутых против израильской армии "комиссией Голдстоуна". В докладе толщиной в 1000 страниц собраны доказательства того, что власти ближневосточной страны не совершали военных преступлений в ходе прошлогодней операции "Расплавленный свинец", которая проводилась в секторе Газа. Об этом передает "Интерфакс" со ссылкой на газету The Jerusalem Post.

Сейчас изучением доклада занялись юристы из министерств иностранных дел и юстиции, а также из Совета по национальной безопасности Израиля. Дата публикации доклада пока неизвестна...


Во как! Когда доклад будет опубликован ещё не известно, а о содержании доклада уже известно..... Бу-га-га! Я плякаль!
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Zabougornov
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Откуда: Обер-группен-доцент, ст. руководитель группы скоростных свингеров, он же Забашлевич Оцаат Поэлевич

СообщениеДобавлено: Понедельник, 4 Апрель 2011, 09:49:29    Заголовок сообщения: Ответить с цитатой

http://www.newsru.co.il/israel/03apr2011/goldstone_001.html
Цитата:
...Сегодня в израильских СМИ обсуждается статья, опубликованная судьей Ричардом Голдстоном в газете Washington Post, в которой он говорит, что ошибся при составлении отчета о действиях ЦАХАЛа во время операции "Литой свинец". Газета "Едиот Ахронот" публикует на первой полосе портрет Голдстона поверх которого размещен заголовок: "Я ошибался"; газета "Маарив" пишет: "Сейчас он сожалеет", а "Исраэль а-Йом" на первой полосе призывает: "Голдстон, извинись!"...


Ложь. Вот статья Голдстоуна.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/reconsidering-the-goldstone-report-on-israel-and-war-crimes/2011/04/01/AFg111JC_print.html
Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and war crimes
By Richard Goldstone, Friday, April , 8:42 PM

We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.

The final report by the U.N. committee of independent experts — chaired by former New York judge Mary McGowan Davis — that followed up on the recommendations of the Goldstone Report has found that “Israel has dedicated significant resources to investigate over 400 allegations of operational misconduct in Gaza” while “the de facto authorities (i.e., Hamas) have not conducted any investigations into the launching of rocket and mortar attacks against Israel.”

Our report found evidence of potential war crimes and “possibly crimes against humanity” by both Israel and Hamas. That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets.

The allegations of intentionality by Israel were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion. While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.

For example, the most serious attack the Goldstone Report focused on was the killing of some 29 members of the al-Simouni family in their home. The shelling of the home was apparently the consequence of an Israeli commander’s erroneous interpretation of a drone image, and an Israeli officer is under investigation for having ordered the attack. While the length of this investigation is frustrating, it appears that an appropriate process is underway, and I am confident that if the officer is found to have been negligent, Israel will respond accordingly. The purpose of these investigations, as I have always said, is to ensure accountability for improper actions, not to second-guess, with the benefit of hindsight, commanders making difficult battlefield decisions.

While I welcome Israel’s investigations into allegations, I share the concerns reflected in the McGowan Davis report that few of Israel’s inquiries have been concluded and believe that the proceedings should have been held in a public forum. Although the Israeli evidence that has emerged since publication of our report doesn’t negate the tragic loss of civilian life, I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes.

Israel’s lack of cooperation with our investigation meant that we were not able to corroborate how many Gazans killed were civilians and how many were combatants. The Israeli military’s numbers have turned out to be similar to those recently furnished by Hamas (although Hamas may have reason to inflate the number of its combatants).

As I indicated from the very beginning, I would have welcomed Israel’s cooperation. The purpose of the Goldstone Report was never to prove a foregone conclusion against Israel. I insisted on changing the original mandate adopted by the Human Rights Council, which was skewed against Israel. I have always been clear that Israel, like any other sovereign nation, has the right and obligation to defend itself and its citizens against attacks from abroad and within. Something that has not been recognized often enough is the fact that our report marked the first time illegal acts of terrorism from Hamas were being investigated and condemned by the United Nations. I had hoped that our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era of evenhandedness at the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.

Some have charged that the process we followed did not live up to judicial standards. To be clear: Our mission was in no way a judicial or even quasi-judicial proceeding. We did not investigate criminal conduct on the part of any individual in Israel, Gaza or the West Bank. We made our recommendations based on the record before us, which unfortunately did not include any evidence provided by the Israeli government. Indeed, our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report. McGowan Davis has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing.

Some have suggested that it was absurd to expect Hamas, an organization that has a policy to destroy the state of Israel, to investigate what we said were serious war crimes. It was my hope, even if unrealistic, that Hamas would do so, especially if Israel conducted its own investigations. At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks. Sadly, that has not been the case. Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern Israel. That comparatively few Israelis have been killed by the unlawful rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza in no way minimizes the criminality. The U.N. Human Rights Council should condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms.

In the end, asking Hamas to investigate may have been a mistaken enterprise. So, too, the Human Rights Council should condemn the inexcusable and cold-blooded recent slaughter of a young Israeli couple and three of their small children in their beds.

I continue to believe in the cause of establishing and applying international law to protracted and deadly conflicts. Our report has led to numerous “lessons learned” and policy changes, including the adoption of new Israel Defense Forces procedures for protecting civilians in cases of urban warfare and limiting the use of white phosphorus in civilian areas. The Palestinian Authority established an independent inquiry into our allegations of human rights abuses — assassinations, torture and illegal detentions — perpetrated by Fatah in the West Bank, especially against members of Hamas. Most of those allegations were confirmed by this inquiry. Regrettably, there has been no effort by Hamas in Gaza to investigate the allegations of its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

Simply put, the laws of armed conflict apply no less to non-state actors such as Hamas than they do to national armies. Ensuring that non-state actors respect these principles, and are investigated when they fail to do so, is one of the most significant challenges facing the law of armed conflict. Only if all parties to armed conflicts are held to these standards will we be able to protect civilians who, through no choice of their own, are caught up in war.

The writer, a retired justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and former chief prosecutor of the U.N. International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, chaired the U.N. fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict.
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