Wednesday - 01 April 2015 
September 26, 2009

URGENT APPEAL: The Goldstone Report - An end to impunity?

UA - 6/09 : URGENT APPEAL : DCI-Palestine

Location of incident   Gaza Strip, Occupied Palestinian Territory
Nature of incident   Acts of aggression in densely populated areas
Date of incident   27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009  
Number of fatalities   Over 1,400 including 352 children
Number of injuries   Over 4,000 including 860 children

The Goldstone Report

In response to widespread and repeated allegations of war crimes having been committed by both sides during the most recent Israeli military offensive in Gaza, (‘Operation Cast Lead’), the UN Human Rights Council (the Council) established an independent fact finding mission, headed by Justice Richard Goldstone in April 2009 (the Goldstone Mission). Thirty-three members of the Council out of a total membership of 47 (with 13 abstentions), voted in favour of establishing the Goldstone Mission, chaired by a highly respected and eminent South African jurist.

On 15 September 2009, the Goldstone Mission published its 575 page report (the Report), investigating allegations of war crimes in Gaza, as directed by the Council. The report is independent, detailed and methodical. The Report found evidence indicating that serious violations of international law were committed during the offensive.

The Report will be debated by the 47-member Council on Tuesday, 29 September 2009, who will decide what further action should be taken. The Goldstone Mission recommends that, inter alia, the Council endorses all recommendations in the Report, and requests the UN Secretary-General to convey the Report to the UN Security Council as soon as possible and submits the report to the General Assembly and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for appropriate action.

There is a danger that a majority of Council members will not support the recommendations made in the Report and no effective action will be taken, thereby denying the victims of Operation Cast Lead their best chance for accountability and justice in accordance with international law.

Background information

Operation Cast Lead commenced on 27 December 2008 with an aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Israeli ground forces invaded one week later, on 3 January 2009, as the aerial and naval bombardment continued. Israel’s stated aim of the offensive was to minimise rocket attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip.

On 18 January 2009, 23 days after it began, Operation Cast Lead came to an end with Israel’s announcement of a unilateral ceasefire. It is estimated that over 1,400 Palestinians were killed and over 4,000 injured. DCI-Palestine can confirm the deaths of 352 children killed as a direct result of the offensive. Almost 29 percent of these children were eight years old or under, while the average age of children killed was 11.3 years. Fifteen Israelis, including four civilians, were also killed during the offensive, including four by ‘friendly fire.’

There have been persistent and widespread allegations that serious violations of international law were committed during the offensive giving rise to the establishment of the independent UN fact finding Goldstone Mission.

Recommended action

Without accountability and respect for the rule of law, there is little prospect for peace or justice in the Middle East. Accordingly, please send your Urgent Appeal to members of the UN Human Rights Council to arrive before Tuesday, 29 September 2009, asking that:

  • Council members endorse all the recommendations contained in the Goldstone Report and request that the UN Secretary-General convey the Report to the UN Security Council as soon as possible and submits the report to the General Assembly and the Prosecutor of the ICC for appropriate action.

A letter sent by the President of Defence for Children International (DCI) to members of the Council can be viewed here.

Appeals to members of the UN Human Rights Council

(Letters to Council members should be addressed ‘Your Excellency’)

  1. Angola: Mr. Arcanjo Maria do Nascimento - 
  2. Argentina: Mr. Alberto J. Dumont -  
  3. Bahrain: Mr. Abdulla Abdullatif Abdulla -  
  4. Bangladesh: Mr. Toufiq Ali -   
  5. Belgium: Mr. Alex Van Meeuwen - 
  6. Bolivia: Mrs. Angélica Navarro Llanos -  
  7. Bosnia/Herzegovina: Mrs. Jadranka Kalmeta - 
  8. Brazil: Mr. Clodoaldo Hugueney - 
  9. Burkina Faso: Mr. Moussa B. Nebié - 
  10. Cameroon: Mr. Jean Simplice Ndjemba Endezoumou - 
  11. Chile: Mr. Juan Martabit - 
  12. China: Mr. Sha Zukang - 
  13. Cuba: Mr. Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios - 
  14. Djibouti: Mr. Mohamed-Siad Doualeh - 
  15. Egypt: Mr. Sameh Shoukry - 
  16. France: Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert - 
  17. Gabon: Mr. Patrice Tonda - 
  18. Ghana: Mr. Kwabena Baah-Duodu - 
  19. Hungary: Mr. Gyula Szelei Kiss - 
  20. India: Mr. Swashpawan Singh - 
  21. Indonesia: Mr. Makarim Wibisono - 
  22. Italy: Mr. Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri - 
  23. Japan: Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki - 
  24. Jordan: Mr. Mousa Burayzat - 
  25. Kyrgystan: Mr. Muktar Djumaliev - 
  26. Madagascar: Mr. Alfred Rambeloson - 
  27. Mauritius: Mr. Shree Baboo Chekitan Servansing - 
  28. Mexico: Mr. Luis Alfonso De Alba - 
  29. Netherlands: Mr. Boudewijn J. Van Eenennaam - 
  30. Nicaragua: Mrs. Alicia Martín Gallegos - 
  31. Nigeria: Mr. Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi - 
  32. Norway: Mr. Wegger Chr. Strømmen -
  33. Pakistan: Mr. Masood Khan - 
  34. Philippines: Mr. Enrique A. Manalo - 
  35. Qatar: Mr. Nasser Rashid Al Nuaimi - 
  36. Republic of Korea: Mr. Sung-joo Lee - 
  37. Russian Federation: Mr. Valery Loshchinin - 
  38. Saudi Arabia: Mr. Abdulwahab Abdulsalam Attar - 
  39. Senegal: Mr. Moussa Bocar Ly - 
  40. South Africa: Mrs. Glaudine J. Mtshali - 
  41. Slovakia: Mr. Anton Pinter - 
  42. Slovenia: Mr. Andrej Logar - 
  43. Ukraine: Mr. Yevhen Bersheda - 
  44. United Kingdom of Great Britain: Mr. Nicholas Thorne -
  45. United States of America: Douglas M. Griffiths Deputy [Email address unavailable] 
  46. Uruguay: Mr. Guillermo Valles Galmés - 
  47. Zambia: Mr. Love Mtesa -

Please inform DCI-Palestine about your letters and let us know if you receive any response to your appeals; quote the UA number at the top of this document –

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