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As war report looms, UN envoy blocked from Gaza

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Makarim Wibisono, the United Nations investigator on human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (AFP photo)

As the prospect of a UN report on Israel’s 2014 bloodletting in Gaza draws nearer, the world body’s point man on human rights situation in the occupied territories is kept outside the Palestinian territory by Israel.

Tel Aviv once again prevented Makarim Wibisono from visiting the coastal enclave last week, with Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon saying outright on Monday, "We didn't allow this visit."

"Israel cooperates with all the international commissions and all (UN) rapporteurs, except when the mandate handed to them is anti-Israeli and Israel has no chance to make itself heard," the official said, despite the age-old and unflinching US-led support for the Israeli regime on the international arena, most visibly at the United Nations.

Palestinians, including a child with a Palestinian flag, sit atop a destroyed house on May 15, 2015 near the border with Israel, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip (AFP photo).


Wibisono reports to the UN Human Rights Council. The council has been investigating the war and whose relevant report is expected to be published in the coming days.

Israel had also barred Wibisono from entering last year for a similar visit.

Nearly 2,200 Palestinians lost their lives and some 11,000 were injured in the July-August 2014 assaults. Gaza Health officials say the victims included 578 children and nearly 260 women with more than 3,100 children injured in the offensive.

A Palestinian man carries his child in Gaza City's al-Shejaiya neighborhood on February 26, 2015, next to buildings destroyed during the 50-day war (AFP photo).


The UN has said Israel was responsible for the deadly bombing of several UN institutions, including schools, in which displaced Palestinian civilians were sheltering.

In a report released Sunday, Israel defended its conduct in the war, calling it both "lawful" and "legitimate."

The regime has been invariably justifying its incessant attacks on the impoverished sliver by alleging it has a duty to defend itself against the rockets fired from Gaza. The projectiles are seldom known to have caused injury or damage.


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