Friday, May 08, 2009

The SG's Board of Inquiry report on 9 incidents in the Gaza war

The Secretary-General Off the Cuff

The full report has not been released but an extended summary, which Ban Ki-Moon claims is faithful to the full report, was prepared by the UN Secretariat. The summary is available here. Even in summarized form the report--examining a total of nine incidents--reveals pattern of intentional targeting of UN facilities by the Israeli army, which exercised inadequate regard for protected persons and sites. Several untruthful claims by Israeli officials are noted. In one instance it found Hamas gunmen responsible for firing, in another it did not determine responsibility.

See this informative Guardian report, and UN-Truth has a nice summary about the release of the Board of Inquiry report.

The Israeli reaction to the report was to accuse the investigators of bias and negligence. Citing Israel's own inquiry, the statement claims that the IDF did not intentionally fire on UN installations. "The State of Israel rejects the criticism in the board's summary report, and determines that in both spirit and language, the report is tendentious, patently biased, and ignores the facts presented to the committee. The board of inquiry has preferred the claims of Hamas, a murderous terror organization, and by doing so has misled the world."

Perhaps the most noteworthy component of the Israeli statement is in the final paragraph: "Israel views the publication of the report's findings as the end of the internal UN inspection process." In that regard, Ban Ki-Moon has indicated that there will no further investigations, in contrast to the recommendations of the Board of Inquiry.

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