Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:53AM
Palestinian men sit amid the rubble of houses which were destroyed during the 2014 Israeli war against Gaza in the Eastern Gaza City Shujaiya neighborhood, on May 23, 2015. (©AFP)
Palestinian men sit amid the rubble of houses which were destroyed during the 2014 Israeli war against Gaza in the Eastern Gaza City Shujaiya neighborhood, on May 23, 2015. (©AFP)
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Press TV has conducted an interview with Edward Corrigan, an international human rights lawyer from Ontario, to get his take on UN calls for prosecution of the perpetrators of war crimes during the Israeli war on Gaza last summer.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: As welcome as the UN chief’s call is to prosecute those who have committed human rights violations in Gaza, how far do you think this calls are going to go into us actually seeing something come off it?

Corrigan: Unfortunately, it’s doubtful that the United Nations will have the will to pursue this matter to the Security Council. Now…Palestine has joined the International Criminal Court and they are expecting this report and other reports to buttress their complaint to the International Criminal Court to pursue an investigation of war crimes against Israel and Israeli leaders, and that is probably a more important venue. The UN , partly because of the veto the United States has at the Security Council, is unlikely to take action on its own even though, I think legally, critically and morally they would be obligated to do so. But the practical reality, unless the Americans don’t veto it, it’s unlikely that the Security Council would be able to take concrete action. The General Assembly and its various committees can take symbolic action in each of reports that are condemning Israel’s war crimes or war crimes of anyone else. That’s indeed possible that Hamas and other groups may be accused of war crimes themselves. But the massive international consensus is that Israel launched a premeditated unprovoked attack on Gaza. They claimed that the murder of four young Israelis in the West Bank, but Israeli police report suddenly said that it wasn’t Hamas that did it. So, Israel used a false pretext to attack Gaza. And then they’ve killed over 2,200 people, wounded close to 12, 000, many of them were maimed, severely injured, 70 percent of the people that were killed were in fact civilians.

Press TV: As you’ve just mentioned, Israel put in false pretext to go to war on Gaza, and speaking of false pretext, Israel has released its counter-report to the Gaza war which puts the blames solely on Hamas for the civilian casualties. How much can that be an obstacle in that case against Israel in the ICC?

Corrigan: Well, it’s getting a report from the perpetrator of crime. It’s obviously biased. It’s self-serving. And I don’t think a lot of weight will be giving to it. Just the same way, I don’t think at all weights will be giving to a report from Hamas. But if the United Nations committee’s independent body, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, all of whom condemned the Israeli attack on the Gaza, these are neutral objective organizations that don’t have a self-interest. What’s interesting about Israelis is that the group Against the Silence issued a 200 page plus report, appalling 60 Israeli soldiers that confirmed that orders were given to [committing] the move. There was an Israeli commander was tape recording ordering an attack on a medical health clinic. There’s tons of documentation and sources from Israeli soldiers that actually contradict and prove that Israel did commit war crimes in Gaza. There are numerous journalists who’ve gone in there. The Israelis create this fiction some …because their… anti-Semitism and [that] the Palestinians hate Israel because they are anti-Semitic. It ignores the fact that Israel ethnically cleansed them, massacred them, raped them, drove out, over a million people, stole their property, their land and everything else. The whole history here is war crime after war crime after war crime. But the Israelis say ‘Oh this is not because of what we do, it’s because of who we are, because we are Jews.’ What’s interesting is many Jews actually speak out about this and condemn the actions of the government. Jewish human rights organizations like B'Tselem,…Against the Silence, Israeli journalists who in fact were in Gaza during the siege and were there, they were terrified of course but only because they risked to be killed by the indiscriminate Israeli bombardments and unexploded ordnances. One Jewish journalist said he was present when there was a protest... the Israeli soldiers shot and wounded four Palestinians right beside him. So, there are many instances of Israelis and Jews which of course are condemning this activity. So, the argument that this is some of anti-Semitism and the world is bias against Israel…it’s totally bogus and garbage in fact.      

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