UN report reveals Israel violated laws in flotilla raid last May
NEW YORK, A UN Human Rights Council investigation into the deadly Israeli massacre against international activists on board the Freedom Flotilla said in report released on Wednesday that there is “clear evidence” which can be used to prosecute Israel for its attack on the convoy set to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip late last May.
The UNHRC previously voiced the decision to form an independent international mission to discuss the attacks by Israeli forces against the Freedom Flotilla, which left nine dead and sparked international criticism.
The UN probe into the flotilla massacre listened to testimonies of international activists on board the flotilla after making several tours of England, Turkey, Switzerland, and Jordan. Israel declined to cooperate with the UN investigation committee.
“There is clear evidence to support prosecution for the following crimes: willful killing and torture, or inhumane treatment, and deliberately causing severe pain or serious injuries,” experts said in the report.
“The perpetrators in the most serious of the crimes who were masked cannot be identified without the help of Israeli authorities,” experts added, demanding that the Israeli government cooperates in identifying them to prosecute the offenders.
The Brussels-based European campaign to break the siege on Gaza said praising the UN committee over the report: “The report of the commission to investigate violations against the Freedom Flotilla which killed nine activists on board is considered a victory – even though partial – for the blood of those killed on the Freedom Flotilla and for the mission to end the siege on Gaza.”
The campaign said that UN conventions confirm that the siege on the Gaza Strip is unlawful, and that Israeli claims that it was imposed for security reasons in no way justify the blockade.
Threats by Israeli military Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi against the second Freedom Flotilla and other humanitarian aid ships should prompt a global movement against Israel to lift the Gaza siege, the campaign added.
The European campaign announced it will issue a detailed report later based on the UN report, which would include recommendations to convict Israel internationally and force it to lift the unjust siege on Gaza imposed for the fifth straight year.