[JURIST] Israel will likely not cooperate with a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] investigation to look into an Israeli military raid of a flotilla in Gaza that took place at the end of May. While the Israeli government has not yet made an official announcement regarding its position, an unnamed senior Israeli official called the investigation unnecessary and obsessive [Haaretz report]. He stated that the selection [JURIST report] of Desmond de Silva, a former UN war crimes prosecutor, to head the panel showed that the investigation was biased [Jerusalem Post report] in light of de Silva’s remarks against Israel following the raid. The official announcement regarding Israel’s decision is expected to be made this week. While the government may not cooperate with the UNHRC probe, the official is expecting an announcement that the government will comply with a separate UN investigation created under the authority of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon [official website].
The three-member UNHRC panel will include de Silva, the former prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone; Karl Hudson-Phillips, a former judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC); and Mary Shanth Dairiam, a former member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women [official websites]. Earlier this month, an Israeli military probe into the incident revealed insufficient intelligence and planning [JURIST report] in the raid, but concluded that no punishments were necessary. Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [official website] established a separate panel [JURIST report] to investigate the raid independently from the military’s investigation. The incident took place at the end of May when Israeli forces raided six Turkish ships attempting to deliver more than 10,000 tons of aid to Gaza. The raid resulted nine deaths and left many others wounded.