Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This is a Bombshell! Exclusive: Leaked documents show PA undermined Turkey's push for UN flotilla probe

Asa Winstanley, The Electronic Intifada, 22 June 2010

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"The Palestinian Authority attempted to neutralize a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution condemning Israel's deadly attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, leaked UN and Palestinian Authority documents obtained by The Electronic Intifada show. Israel's 31 May attack killed nine Turkish citizens, including a dual US-Turkish citizen, and injured dozens of others aboard the Mavi Marmara in international waters.

The Electronic Intifada (EI) today publishes one of the documents it obtained, containing proposed amendments to a draft Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution. Annotations to the resolution indicate the Palestinian Authority (PA) stood with European Union (EU) countries against Turkey's calls for robust action to hold Israel accountable.

The PA's apparent collusion to shield Israel will recall for many its efforts to undermine UN action on the Goldstone report last October. Apparently written by a European delegate, the document's amendments would have seriously diluted Turkey's original wording. The most damaging change would have removed the call for an independent UN investigation under HRC auspices. The document was provided to EI by a source who described how it was obtained inside the UN Office at Geneva, and asked to remain anonymous.Turkey rejected the EU-PA amendments, and the final resolution on 2 June declared that the council "Decides to dispatch an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international humanitarian and human rights law resulting from the Israeli attacks" ("The Grave Attacks by Israeli Forces against the Humanitarian Boat Convoy," United Nations Human Rights Council, Fourteenth session, A/HRC/14/L.1, Adopted on 2 June 2010).The language in the final resolution was very similar to the January 2009 HRC resolution which led to the Goldstone report, the independent investigation that detailed war crimes committed during Israel's 2008-09 invasion of Gaza....

Public statements by both French and UK diplomats support EI's interpretation of the document. After Turkey succeeded in getting its wording into the 2 June resolution, the UK and France abstained, and the Netherlands, Italy and the US voted against.....

However, the annotations in the draft HRC resolution leaked to EI are corroborated by a second leaked document which reveals an earlier attempt to dilute the HRC resolution, but this time directly by the PA itself.

The second document, and the email to which it was attached, were leaked by a source unconnected to the first document. EI was given access to the second document on condition it not be published.

The second document is in the widely-used Microsoft Word format and the "Track Changes" feature has been used, so the exact changes made to it are unambiguous. An examination of the Word document's metadata reveals that it was initially created by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs ("Disisleri Bakanligi") before the PA added its changes.

The email to which it was attached was written by Feda Abdelhady Nasser, a diplomat at the PA's UN mission in New York, and sent to Dr. Ibrahim Khraishi, the PA representative at the UN in Geneva where the HRC is based. It is copied to Riyad Mansour, the head of the PA mission at the UN in New York......"

Download Document Leaked to EI

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