De tre andre medlemmene av Goldstone-kommisjonen tar avstand fra formannen Richard Goldstone, som har revurdert konklusjonene og kommet til at det var feil at Israel bevisst gikk etter sivile.
The three members – the Pakistani human rights lawyer Hina Jilani; Christine Chinkin, professor of international law at the London School of Economics; and former Irish peace-keeper Desmond Travers – have until this moment kept their silence over Goldstone’s bombshell remarks. But their response now is devastating.
Though they do not mention Goldstone by name, they shoot down several of the main contentions in his article and imply that he has bowed to intense political pressure.
They write that they cannot leave «aspersions cast on the findings of the [Goldstone] report unchallenged», adding that those aspersions have «misrepresented facts in an attempt to delegitimise the findings and to cast doubts on its credibility».
In their most stinging criticism, the three joint authors say that «calls to reconsider or even retract the report, as well as attempts at misrepresenting its nature and purpose, disregard the rights of victims, Palestinians and Israeli, to truth and justice». They point to the «personal attacks and the extraordinary pressure placed on members of the fact-finding mission», adding that «had we given in to pressures from any quarter to sanitise our conclusions, we would be doing a serious injustice to the hundreds of innocent civilians killed during the Gaza conflict, the thousands injured, and the hundreds of thousands whose lives continue to be deeply affected by the conflict and the blockade».
The four-person fact-finding mission was set up to look into allegations of war crimes committed by both Israel and Hamas during the war in which 1,400 Palestinians – at least half of whom were civilians – and 13 Israelis died. The Goldstone report concluded that some Israelis could be held individually criminally responsible for potential war crimes.
UN Gaza report co-authors round on Goldstone
Exclusive: Three mission members say calls to recant UN report disregard the rights of Palestinian and Israeli victims