Human rights groups to PM: Set up independent Cast Lead inqu

Human rights organizations in Israel on Tuesday reissued their call to the government to establish, without delay, an independent and impartial investigation mechanism to thoroughly examine the allegations raised regarding violations of international law during last winters Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and members of his cabinet, heads of the organizations called on the government to take advantage of the short time still remaining before the UN deliberated on the Goldstone report’s implementation.
The organizations specify in their letter why the military's internal examination, which includes operational debriefings and approximately 30 Military Police investigations, does not satisfy Israel's obligations to investigate.
The letter stated that these examinations do not conform to the demands set by the Goldstone fact-finding mission, that Israel and Hamas each investigate suspected violations of international law during Cast Lead. Therefore, the letter said, they will not be accepted as an appropriate response to the Goldstone report. Furthermore, the organizations warned that Israel’s refusal to hold an independent investigation would expose military officers and members of the previous government to investigation and legal proceedings likely to take place outside Israel.