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article imageUN says Israel violated international law when it raided flotilla

By Stephanie Dearing     Sep 23, 2010 in World
A fact-finding mission working under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council released its advance unedited report into Israel's raid on the Gaza Aid Flotilla, which resulted in the deaths of nine men on May 31, 2010.
Israel violated human rights and international humanitarian laws when it conducted its raid, the United Nations Human Rights Council independent international report concludes, said a press release issued Thursday. The blunt report, released Wednesday, is from a fact-finding mission into the deadly raid. “The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence.
It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality. Such conduct cannot be justified or condoned on security or any other grounds. It constituted grave violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law.”
In response to the report, YNet News reported that Israel is attempting to rally Jewish organizations in the United States to condemn the report. According to YNet, the goal is to undermine the credibility of the report. Israel is preparing a formal response to the report, which will be submitted to the United Nations.
The authors of the report will present their findings to the United Nations next week. The fact-finding mission was chaired by Judge K. Hudson-Phillips. Hudson-Phillips is the former judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Also part of the team was Queen’s Counsel, Sir Desmond de Silva. de Silva served as the chief prosecutor of the Sierra Leone War Crimes Tribunal. The final member of the three-person team is Shanthi Dairiam, a human rights expert of Malaysia who served as a member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
The team interviewed over 100 witnesses in four cities.
Reuters reported that Israel had immediately dismissed the report as biased, but also said the report would be studied.
The report is separate from an investigation into the same incident being led by the United Nations' Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
On Thursday, Turkey's President, Abdullah Gul told the United Nations Turkey was seeking a formal apology from Israel as well as financial compensation for the deaths of eight Turkish nationals. The ninth man killed held dual citizenship in Turkey and the United States. The men were killed on May 31st when Israel raided the Mavi Marmara, the largest ship of the ill-fated Gaza Aid Flotilla. The Jerusalem Post reported that Gul is pleased with the conclusions of the fact finding mission into the raid.
Israel is conducting its own inquiry into the deadly raid, which Haaretz reported is almost completed, in spite of the recent death of one panel member.
Israel has claimed the deaths of nine at the hands of their military were the result of lawful self-defence when the military raided the Gaza Aid Flotilla.
Note: This article was amended on September 24, 2010 to fully identify the source of the investigative report. This information was overlooked in the original article. The author apologizes for any confusion that may have resulted as a result of this omission.
More about Gaza aid flotilla, Mava marmara, Humanitarian aid, United Nations
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