Israel uncomfortable with British support for UN report

Israel uncomfortable with British support for UN report

 A British diplomat voiced support for aspects of a UN report that could lead to the prosecution of Israeli army officers for alleged war crimes, but was met with disappointment by the Israeli’s.

UK ambassador to the UN John Sawer asserted that “serious information” in the document gives rise to the suspicion that violations of the laws of war were committed. The remarks, coming three days before the report is expected to be raised in the security council at Libya’s behest, highlights a British position that is rhetorically distinct from that of Washington, which has been strongly backing an Israeli campaign.

Mr. Sawers stressed that the investigation, which was led by South African judge Richard Goldstone who was in fact a Jew revealed that there was no bias in the investigation.

The report issued last month said that both Israel and Hamas were guilty of war crimes during the conflict in which nearly 1400 Palestinians and thirteen Israelis died. It said the Israeli military had proven unable to investigate itself and recommended the war crimes allegations be referred to the International Criminal Court if “good faith investigations” were not underway within six months.

Israel’s concerns about a renewal of diplomatic momentum for the report have intensified in recent days after the Palestinian Authority began working to revive debate over it at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Palestinian moves aim to reverse a highly unpopular decision by PA President Mahmoud Abbas ten days ago under US and Israeli pressure to postpone a discussion for six months.