Report zum Gaza-Krieg vorgelegt: "Kriegsverbrechen und in mancher Hinsicht möglicherweise Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit"
UN-Kommission (UN Fact Finding Mission) unter Leitung von Richter Richard Goldstone erhebt schwere Vorwürfe gegen israelische Streitkräfte / Auch Hamas beging "Kriegsverbrechen"
Bei seiner Offensive im Gazastreifen hat Israel nach Einschätzung der UNO Gewalt unverhältnismäßig eingesetzt und gegen das Völkerrecht verstoßen. Der Militäreinsatz begründe den Vorwurf von "Kriegsverbrechen", heißt es in einer Untersuchung, die von dem südafrikanischen Richter Richard Goldstone in New York vorgestellt wurde. Dieser Vorwurf richte sich auch gegen "bewaffnete Palästinensergruppen".
Goldstone, der frühere Chefankläger der UN-Tribunale für Ex-Jugoslawien und Ruanda, wurde im Frühjahr von der UNO mit der Leitung einer Untersuchung der Offensive um die Jahreswende beauftragt, bei der mehr als 1400 Palästinenser getötet wurden. Das vierköpfige Gremium sei zu dem Ergebnis gekommen, dass die israelischen Streitkräfte "Kriegsverbrechen und in mancher Hinsicht möglicherweise Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit" begangen hätten, sagte Goldstone. Auch der Abschuss von Raketen auf bewohnte Gebiete in Israel durch Palästinenser im Gazastreifen sei als "Kriegsverbrechen" einzustufen.
Die israelische Regierung wies den Bericht umgehend als "parteiisch" zurück. Da schon der Auftrag zu der Untersuchung auf das mögliche Ergebnis habe schließen lassen, habe Israel nicht mit der Kommission zusammengearbeitet, erklärte das Außenministerium. Die UNO verleihe damit "der terroristischen Organisation Hamas Legitimität".
Israels Außenminister Avigdor Lieberman bestritt bei einem Besuch in Zagreb, dass die Siedlungspolitik in den Palästinensergebieten ein Hindernis für den Frieden sei. Die Einwände der Palästinenserführung von Präsident Mahmud Abbas seien lediglich "ein Vorwand um direkte Verhandlungen zu vermeiden". Ein dreistündiges Gespräch zwischen Israels Ministerpräsident Benjamin Netanjahu und dem US-Sondergesandten George Mitchell in Jerusalem brachte unterdessen keinen Durchbruch.
Der stellvertretende israelische Außenminister Danny Ajalon kündigte am 16. Sept. Schritte zur «Schadensbegrenzung» an. So wolle er während eines Gesprächs mit der US-Botschafterin bei den Vereinten Nationen in New York, Susan Rice, um die Unterstützung der US-Regierung bitten. Die Regierung in Jerusalem will verhindern, dass der Goldstone-Bericht vor den Weltsicherheitsrat kommt oder an den Internationalen Strafgerichtshof in Den Haag überwiesen wird. Israel hat Sorge, dass dann Politiker wie beispielsweise Verteidigungsminister Ehud Barak oder Ex-Außenministerin Zipi Livni oder Offiziere vom Generalstab bis zur Kommandoebene wegen Kriegsverbrechen angeklagt werden könnten.
Scharfe Kritik am Goldstone-Bericht äußerte Israels Staatspräsident Schimon Peres. Er warf der UN-Untersuchungskommission vor, sie habe «die Geschichte zum Gespött gemacht», weil sie nicht zwischen Angreifer und Verteidiger unterscheide.
Israelische Menschenrechts-Organisationen begrüßten in einer ersten Stellungnahme den Bericht und fordern die israelische Regierung zu eigenen Ermittlungen auf:
Human Rights groups in Israel provide initial response to Goldstone Report:
Israel Must Investigate 'Operation Cast Lead'
With the publication of the Goldstone Committee report today,
human rights organizations in Israel are studying the report and
its conclusions, and they call upon the Israeli Government to
take the report seriously and to refrain from automatically
rejecting its findings or denying its legitimacy.
Already it is clear that the findings of the report - written
after gathering extensive information and testimonies from
Israeli and Palestinian victims - will join a long series of
reports indicating that Israel's actions during the fighting in
Gaza, as well as the actions of Hamas, violated the laws of
combat and human rights law.
Human rights organizations in Israel believe that the State of
Israel must conduct an independent and impartial investigation
into these suspicions and to cooperate with an international
monitoring mechanism that would guarantee both the independence
of that investigation and the implementation of its conclusions.
The organizations have written to Israel's Attorney General to
demand that he establish such an independent body to investigate
the military's activities during "Cast Lead", but he rejected
The groups expect the Government of Israel to respond to the
substance of the report's findings and to desist from its current
policy of casting doubt upon the credibility of anyone who does
not adhere to the establishment's narrative.
Organizations on this statement:
Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Adalah, Bimkom, B'Tselem, Gisha, HaMoked, Physicians for Human Rights - Israel, The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and Yesh Din
Die im Gazastreifen herrschende Hamas-Organisation meinte, der Bericht sei «eine klare Verurteilung Israels wegen Kriegsverbrechen gegen Zivilisten». Die palästinensische Autonomiebehörde in Ramallah hofft nach den Worten ihres Sprechers Ghassan Chatib, dass die internationale Gemeinschaft Israel für die Verbrechen zur Verantwortung zieht.
In einer Ergänzung zur Genfer Nahost-Friedensinitiative von 2003 wurden derweil neue Vorschläge für eine Einigung zwischen Israelis und Palästinensern vorgelegt. Das 400 Seiten starke Dokument sei "ein Rezeptbuch für die, die den Frieden wollen", sagte der Chef der Initiative, Gadi Baldiansky, in Tel Aviv.
Die Vorschläge sehen unter anderem die Entwaffnung eines zukünftigen Palästinenserstaates vor. Zudem sollen sich israelische Sicherheitskräfte aus dem Westjordanland zurückziehen und durch eine internationale Friedenstruppe ersetzt werden. Darüber solle es einen durch israelisches Gebiet verlaufenden Korridor zwischen dem Westjordanland und dem Gazastreifen geben. Jerusalem solle aufgeteilt werden; auch eine gerechte Verteilung der Wasserressourcen wird gefordert.
Nachrichtenagenturen AFP, dpa, 16. Sept. 2009
Hier der Bericht der United Nations Fact Finding Mission:
Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
15 September 2009; [A/HRC/12/48]
pdf-Datei, externer Link
Pressemitteilung des UN Menschenrechtsrats:
UN Fact Finding Mission finds strong evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Gaza conflict; calls for end to impunity
15 September 2009
NEW YORK / GENEVA -- The UN Fact-Finding Mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone on Tuesday released its long-awaited report on the Gaza conflict, in which it concluded there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.
The report also concludes there is also evidence that Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes, as well as possibly crimes against humanity, in their repeated launching of rockets and mortars into Southern Israel.
The four members of the Mission* were appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council in April with a mandate to "To investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, whether before, during or after."
In compiling the 574- page report, which contains detailed analysis of 36 specific incidents in Gaza, as well as a number of others in the West Bank and Israel, the Mission conducted 188 individual interviews, reviewed more 10,000 pages of documentation, and viewed some 1,200 photographs, including satellite imagery, as well as 30 videos. The mission heard 38 testimonies during two separate public hearings held in Gaza and Geneva, which were webcast in their entirety. The decision to hear participants from Israel and the West Bank in Geneva rather than in situ was taken after Israel denied the Mission access to both locations. Israel also failed to respond to a comprehensive list of questions posed to it by the Mission. Palestinian authorities in both Gaza and the West Bank cooperated with the Mission.
The Mission found that, in the lead up to the Israeli military assault on Gaza, Israel imposed a blockade amounting to collective punishment and carried out a systematic policy of progressive isolation and deprivation of the Gaza Strip. During the Israeli military operation, code-named "Operation Cast Lead," houses, factories, wells, schools, hospitals, police stations and other public buildings were destroyed. Families are still living amid the rubble of their former homes long after the attacks ended, as reconstruction has been impossible due to the continuing blockade. More than 1,400 people were killed during the military operation.
Significant trauma, both immediate and long-term, has been suffered by the population of Gaza. The Report notes signs of profound depression, insomnia and effects such as bed-wetting among children. The effects on children who witnessed killings and violence, who had thought they were facing death, and who lost family members would be long lasting, the Mission found, noting in its Report that some 30 per cent of children screened at UNRWA schools suffered mental health problems.
The report concludes that the Israeli military operation was directed at the people of Gaza as a whole, in furtherance of an overall and continuing policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population, and in a deliberate policy of disproportionate force aimed at the civilian population. The destruction of food supply installations, water sanitation systems, concrete factories and residential houses was the result of a deliberate and systematic policy which has made the daily process of living, and dignified living, more difficult for the civilian population.
The Report states that Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.
The report underlines that in most of the incidents investigated by it, and described in the report, loss of life and destruction caused by Israeli forces during the military operation was a result of disrespect for the fundamental principle of "distinction" in international humanitarian law that requires military forces to distinguish between military targets and civilians and civilian objects at all times. The report states that "Taking into account the ability to plan, the means to execute plans with the most developed technology available, and statements by the Israeli military that almost no errors occurred, the Mission finds that the incidents and patterns of events considered in the report are the result of deliberate planning and policy decisions."
For example, Chapter XI of the report describes a number of specific incidents in which Israeli forces launched "direct attacks against civilians with lethal outcome." These are, it says, cases in which the facts indicate no justifiable military objective pursued by the attack and concludes they amount to war crimes. The incidents described include:
Attacks in the Samouni neighbourhood, in Zeitoun, south of Gaza City, including the shelling of a house where soldiers had forced Palestinian civilians to assemble;
Seven incidents concerning "the shooting of civilians while they were trying to leave their homes to walk to a safer place, waving white flags and, in some of the cases, following an injunction from the Israeli forces to do so;"
The targeting of a mosque at prayer time, resulting in the death of 15 people.
A number of other incidents the Report concludes may constitute war crimes include a direct and intentional attack on the Al Quds Hospital and an adjacent ambulance depot in Gaza City.
The Report also covers violations arising from Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank, including excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators, sometimes resulting in deaths, increased closures, restriction of movement and house demolitions. The detention of Palestinian Legislative Council members, the Report says, effectively paralyzed political life in the OPT.
The Mission found that through activities such as the interrogation of political activists and repression of criticism of its military actions, the Israeli Government contributed significantly to a political climate in which dissent was not tolerated.
The Fact-Finding Mission also found that the repeated acts of firing rockets and mortars into Southern Israel by Palestinian armed groups "constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity," by failing to distinguish between military targets and the civilian population. "The launching of rockets and mortars which cannot be aimed with sufficient precisions at military targets breaches the fundamental principle of distinction," the report says. "Where there is no intended military target and the rockets and mortars are launched into civilian areas, they constitute a deliberate attack against the civilian population."
The Mission concludes that the rocket and mortars attacks "have caused terror in the affected communities of southern Israel," as well as "loss of life and physical and mental injury to civilians and damage to private houses, religious buildings and property, thereby eroding the economic and cultural life of the affected communities and severely affecting the economic and social rights of the population."
The Mission urges the Palestinian armed groups holding the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to release him on humanitarian grounds, and, pending his release, give him the full rights accorded to a prisoner of war under the Geneva Conventions including visits from the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Report also notes serious human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial executions of Palestinians, by the authorities in Gaza and by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
The prolonged situation of impunity has created a justice crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that warrants action, the Report says. The Mission found the Government of Israel had not carried out any credible investigations into alleged violations. It recommended that the UN Security Council require Israel to report to it, within six months, on investigations and prosecutions it should carry out with regard to the violations identified in its Report. The Mission further recommends that the Security Council set up a body of independent experts to report to it on the progress of the Israeli investigations and prosecutions. If the experts' reports do not indicate within six months that good faith, independent proceedings are taking place, the Security Council should refer the situation in Gaza to the ICC Prosecutor. The Mission recommends that the same independent expert body also report to the Security Council on proceedings undertaken by the relevant Gaza authorities with regard to crimes committed by the Palestinian side. As in the case of Israel, if within six months there are no good faith independent proceedings conforming to international standards in place, the Council should refer the situation to the ICC Prosecutor.
The full report can be found on the web page of the Fact Finding Mission:
For further media information: contact Doune Porter, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Tel: 1-917-367-3292 or +41-79-477-2576. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The members of the Fact Finding Mission are:
UN Human Rights Council, 15 September 2009; www.unhchr.ch
Zurück zur Gaza-Seite
Zurück zur Homepage
Justice Richard Goldstone, Head of Mission; former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
Professor Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science; member of the high-level fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun (2008).
Ms. Hina Jilani, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan; former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders; member of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur (2004).
Colonel Desmond Travers, former Officer in Ireland's Defence Forces; member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations.