The UN Human Rights Council are on the point of endorsing a report which condemns Israel of war crimes over its Palestinian neighbours in Gaza in January. The vote on the Goldstone Report is to take place in Geneva today, condemns both Hamas and Israel but the latter most for targeting civilians in the conflict in which 1000 Palestinians died compared to 13 Israelis. It calls for both sides to hold its own investigations within six months or face referral to the International Criminal Court.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, is not happy either with the UKs decision to abstain on the vote or with the possibility of their soldiers facing charges of war crimes. He has made it clear that in his opinion no Israeli soldier or official will be prosecuted for war crimes over the offensive Speaking the Knesset he said:
"Israel will not take risks for peace if it can't defend itself."
The wording of the resolution had still to be resolved last night but barring the inclusion of Israel's right to self defence the UK and other EU countries are poised to abstain.
Netanyahu has been on the phone to Gordon Brown urging his UK opposite number to oppose the motion. In the "robust exchange" Netanyahu pleaded for the UK to oppose the motion or else it would derail the peace process. But Brown has returned back that if the authorities in Israel carry out their own investigation as laid out they can avoid censure.
As I blogged at the time action needs to be taken in this situation, Robert Frost may well have written "good walls make good neighbours" the problem with the Israeli walls is that they are bad walls and encroaching into their neighbours territory stealthily trying to grab back what was once theirs. I'm glad that the UN appear to be finally ding something about it and are recognising that Israel aren't entirely blameless, while they do have a right to self-defence they should not be the aggressor, act over proportionately, target civilians and crush/choke the life out of their opponent beyond the point of submission. It really is time for Netanyahu to face up to the facts that in January his commanders overstepped the mark.
Yigal Palmor, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that adoption of the resolution would wreck the peace process: "It will make it impossible for us to take any risks for the sake of peace. What sort of peace process will there be?"
To be honest I think Israel really needs to reach forward a hand of friendship and settlement with its Arab neighbours to maintain a long term peace rather than reach for the sabre at every opportunity. The best first line of self-defence is not to have to in the first place. So to answer Mr Palmor I'd think there would be a far more constructive and sustainable peace.