Israel’s interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla violated international law, according to a report released Sept. 22 by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). After conducting numerous interviews with eye-witnesses and viewing other evidence, the fact-finding mission determined that Israeli forces committed several international law violations, including violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Fourth Geneva Convention. The mission also determined that Israel’s interception of the flotilla was prima facie unlawful. The report recommends judicial remedies and reparations, including medical and psychological care to those who were tortured.
A spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the report by calling the mission’s approach “biased, politicized and extremist.” The spokesperson indicated that Israel will not cooperate with the commission, but will “read and study the report.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry recently submitted findings from its own investigation to the UNHRC for consideration in the report. In July, an Israeli military probe into the incident found insufficient intelligence and planning, but concluded that no punishments were necessary. Israel also established a civilian commission in June to investigate its response. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu testified before the civilian commission in August and expressed confidence that the commission would find Israeli actions to be in compliance with international law.
From Jurist, Sept. 23. Used with permission.
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