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Israeli campaign to prevent adoption of UN report on the Gaza war

Tel Aviv has started to make political efforts to reduce the harm that may result from the report of the Commission of the UN Human Rights Council, which concluded that the Israeli army committed war crimes against the Palestinians during last summer’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, local media reported.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported yesterday that Israeli effort are focused primarily on mobilising the European members of the council to vote against the adoption of the report during the council’s meeting that the will be held in late June in Geneva.

The newspaper pointed out that the Deputy Director General of the Foreign Ministry, Aviv Shiron, has sent messages to Israeli embassies in European Union member states in which he explained the importance of the issue.

Haaretz published excerpts from Shiron’s message to Israeli embassies in Europe: “Every effort must be placed in reaching the top levels of political discourse – the decision makers – and the highest-ranking officials and political executives – in order to convey our message and influence their policies.” By doing so, he expressed hope that Israeli diplomats would be able to “prompt them to voice opposition to the report, and the framework in which it was created, to cast doubt on the committee’s mandate, the biased nature of the council, and its constant singling out of Israel.”

According to Haaretz, Shrion also said in his message that “Israel expects the EU member nations, particularly those who sit on the UN Human Rights Council – Estonia, Latvia, France, Germany, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Portugal – to reject the report and its conclusions, to express this rejection in various EU forums as well as in Geneva, and vote against the measure to adopt the report or create any kind of framework for following up on it.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry official stressed in his message that ambassadors should clarify in all their statements and conversations that “Israel is a serious and law-abiding nation, and will take every claim levelled against it seriously, including the points contained in the report that we consider to be problematic.”

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