US official 'cannot envision' support for UN investigation into Gaza

State Department calls on Israel to grant access to Amnesty, Human Rights Watch; blames Hamas for latest breach of cease-fire.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf (photo credit: screenshot)
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf
(photo credit: screenshot)
WASHINGTON -- ​The US is near certain to veto any proposal brought before the UN Security Council that would investigate Israel for possible war crimes in Gaza, according to State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf.
“I personally cannot envision a scenario in which we would not veto” such a resolution, Harf told reporters on Tuesday when questioned on appeals by the Palestinian Authority to various UN bodies and the UN-associated International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The US considers such moves counterproductive, adding it would “badly damage the environment” with Israel, the party with which the PA claims to seek peace, Harf said.
The US does, however, still seek an independent and transparent investigation into the Palestinian death toll from Operation Protective Edge. Washington hopes for a thorough inquiry run by the Israeli government.
Reports this week claimed that Israel has denied access to independent groups seeking entry to Gaza for their own research into the conflict.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which have accused Jerusalem of war crimes in the past, claim to have been banned from the Strip.
The US supports such efforts “as a matter of principle,” and thinks “it’s important for civil society to be able to go in to Gaza,” Harf said.