311_Mavi Marmara side.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The UN Human Rights Committee on Friday questioned the credibility of Israel’s
investigation into the May 31 naval raid on a Gaza-bound ship, and called on
Israel to explain how the raid resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish
pro-Palestinian activists The Geneva-based committee also urged Israel to end
its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and insisted that it allow an independent,
external inquiry into the raid on the Mavi Marmara.
In its review of
Israel’s application of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, the committee also urged a halt to Israeli restrictions on Palestinians
and investigations into all reports of abuse.
“The state party should
ensure that all alleged cases of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
and disproportionate use of force by law enforcement officials, including
police, personnel of the security service and the armed forces, are thoroughly
and promptly investigated by an authority independent of any of these organs,”
the committee said.
There was no immediate Israeli response to the
committee’s report, but Israel says the covenant – a multilateral treaty
ratified by 166 nations including Israel and in force since 1976 – does not
apply to Palestinian territories.
Committee member Christine Chanet said
that she believed Israel did apply the covenant to settlers.
Reuters, Chanet said that in Israel’s written responses to the committee, “one
could see a total discrimination in the sense that settlers benefited from the
“It is very difficult to have a real dialogue [with Israel],” said
Chanet, a former French judge and international human rights expert.
18 independent experts in the HRC, who reviewing how the treaty is applied in
each nation that is a signatory, also took issue with the “extensive use” of
administrative detention without fair trial, including for children.
expressed concern at restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in a “seam
zone,” “frequent” demolition of homes and schools in the West Bank and east
Jerusalem, and discrimination on housing “disproportionately favoring” the
Jewish population in those areas.
Last week the Human Rights Council
appointed a team of international experts to investigate the raid on the
flotilla and called on all parties to cooperate.
recommendations are non-binding; Israel has long maintained that the body is
biased and largely maneuvered by member countries with a vested interest to harm
the Jewish state.
Israel’s internal military investigation has justified
the use of force and officials said a similar approach would be used against
future flotillas, should they attempt to forcibly break Israel’s naval blockade
as the Mavi Marmara
A government-appointed committee, headed by
former Supreme Court Justice Yaakov Turkel is currently investigating the