Israel continues to behave as if it is an entity above international law.
The Israeli military has exonerated itself from the killing of four children on a beach in Gaza during last summer’s seven-week assault on the besieged strip, prompting expressions of outrage and demands for justice from family members and international journalists who witnessed the attack.
The results of Tel Aviv’s ridiculous inquiry were announced just days after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon removed the Israeli military from an official list of groups that violate children’s rights, following heavy pressure from the United States and Israel.
Now that there is no justice in the internal investigation, the long-suffering people of Palestine will not be silenced or stopped until justice is served. They are counting on the International Criminal Court and human rights organizations because the world is with them.
Tragically, the attack was not unique. The Israeli air war and ground invasion, politically and financially backed by the US, was waged against one of the most densely-populated areas in the world, where roughly half of residents are children and Palestinians are not able to leave due to a military blockade and siege. At least 2,145 Palestinians were killed, the vast majority of them civilians and at least 578 of them children.
It’s all the reason why the United Nations Headquarters Board of Inquiry should dispatch a team of experts to Gaza to probe the Israeli military war crimes committed during the offensive. The UN should also renew its call on Tel Aviv to support the investigation and its findings.
No doubt the racist regime was behind serious incidents leading to death, injuries and damage during the unprovoked conflict. Its criminal actions also involved varying degrees of negligence and recklessness with regard to UN premises and the safety of UN staff and other civilians within those premises, with consequent deaths, injuries and extensive physical damage and loss of property.
Under the circumstances, the reaction of UN Security Council in general and Washington in particular to the new inquiry could be considered as a test to determine whether they have truly changed their flawed policies of the past as regards Palestine, or whether they are still resolute to blindly shore up the racist entity at all costs.
Under international humanitarian law and UN Charter, the inquiry and its findings should be fully backed by the secretary-general, the Security Council and all those states that profess to care about the vital importance of upholding the rule of law in international affairs.
They are all expected to put their fingers on the work of justice and say, “It’s there.” If they fail again to bring justice to Gaza, particularly to its children, they will only ensure stalemate and more suffering for the Palestinians.