Summary of a Memorandum of September 27, 2009
to The President of The UN Human Rights Council, Ambassador
Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi and Members of the Council
Re: The Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
1. Rejection of credible relevant evidence
The Report omits, without explanation, a great deal of highly relevant, credible information that
would certainly have a bearing on the HRC's evaluation. In fact it could be considered that the Mission had a duty to at least disclose in the Report, the existence and contents of such
available evidence even if it disagreed with the contents. For example
1.1. Memorandum from Australian lawyers.
A professionally prepared
document submitted by a group of 15 eminent Australian lawyers earned only the briefest mention in footnote 297. See
1.2. Colonel Richard Kemp (see Appendix A)
That highly significant
evidence was totally ignored, not even earning a footnote, on the grounds that "there was no reliance on Col. Kemp mainly
because the Report did not deal with the issues he raised regarding the problems of conducting military operations in civilian
areas and second-guessing decisions made by soldiers and their commanding officers in the fog of war. The Mission avoided having to do so in the incidents it decided to investigate". This explanation is completely unacceptable, since it is a sine qua non that investigating alleged war crimes essentially
involved investigation of the military operations in civilian areas. See http://www.2nd-thoughts.org/id199.html.
1.3. Reluctant witnesses
The Mission failed to take advantage
of leads to trace some critical witnesses, as well as to view video presentations in which Palestinians who had fled from
Hamas described Hamas' abuse of hospitals and ambulances.
The report must be considered incomplete unless such evidence is included.
1.4. Analyses of Arab media, incitement and dehumanization (see Appendix
Not a single word is mentioned about the daily incitement against infidels, Jews, and Israel that continues unabated
in PA mosques and schools, Recommendations to invite testimony from specialist organizations that
document and translate the Arab media were ignored See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx-CW3UKoIg&feature=related
2. The conditions under which the Cast Lead operation took place. (See
The Report misguidedly applied rules of war that were designed
for conventional warfare, where armies of both sides are clearly identifiable, to guerilla warfare where the combatants cannot
be distinguished from the civilian population.
A Hamas fighter told the Times of London that fighters wore civilian clothes,
and concealed their weapons.
Whole blocks of houses had been booby-trapped
and wired. A mannequin filled with explosives was dressed in a Hamas fighter’s black uniform to attract fire, and if
Israeli soldiers had fired on it, it would have exploded and brought down the building. In the hallway of another house, a
30-gallon container of diesel fuel had been placed on two sacks of explosives.
3. Lack of freedom to investigate in Gaza
The Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported that the Mission was experiencing difficulties because Hamas-allied security forces accompanied the
15-member team. In view of the above and the widely reported violent retribution inflicted by Hamas on dissidents, (including
being thrown from tall buildings), the lack of testimony about storage of weapons
in houses, mosques and schools cannot be accepted as evidence that this did not occur on a wide scale.
4. Inaccurate information
The Fact-finding Mission was extremely
selective in the facts it chose to emphasize and those it chose to ignore. For example:
4.1. Human shields (See Appendix D)
downplayed and in some cases ignored readily available evidence of the use by Palestinians of their own civilians as human
shields, such as the many Reports that have been published over the years documenting the common practice of using human shields
by the Palestinians. See http://www.geocities.com/palestiniansarelies/HumanShields.html
In the face of a public statement by Hamas member of the Palestinian
Legislative Council, Mr. Fathi Hammad, that Hamas created a human shield of women, children, the elderly and the mujahideen
the Mission acts as his defending counsel. The Report states, "Although the Mission finds this statement morally repugnant,
it does not consider it to constitute evidence that Hamas forced Palestinian civilians to shield military objectives against
attack" See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLFAJK5LtwY
4.2. Allegation that children with white flags were shot (See Appendix
In the unfortunate shooting of Amal, Su'ad, and Samar, daughters of Abed Rabbo.
contradictory evidence deserves to be examined seriously, such as reports by Palestinian News Agency Ma'an and MECA –
the Middle East Children's Alliance –that the unfortunate
girls were killed in collateral damage from an attack by Israeli planes.
4.3. Assumption of soldiers' intent
The report repeatedly declares
that civilians were intentionally killed by the IDF, implying that the Mission members, with no battle experience, possess intellectual powers that enable them to determine
whether, in the heat of battle, a soldier has acted in self defense or with criminal intent.
4.4. Weapons in mosques (see Appendix F)
The report describes
a mosque which it claims was struck by an Israeli shell with the deliberate intention of killing civilians. The report claims,
further, that the mosque had no military significance whatsoever, discounting Israel's
claim that mosques were used for military activities and weapons storage.
But an Israeli
expert points out that the mosque was controlled by Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades who used it to
recruit operatives, and that several known terrorists who were operating from the mosque were killed in this attack, including
Ibrahim Moussa Issa al-Silawi, an operative in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. (see http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/jtsm/jtsm060206_1_n.shtml)
5. Abuse of hospitals and ambulances for military purposes (see Appendix
A great deal of credible evidence that hospitals and ambulances were used
for military purposes, as described in more detail in Appendix G, that has been ignored by the report, calls for serious examination
if rational decisions are to be made on the basis of the Report.