Revealed: The Palestinian Authority tried to undermine Turkey’s push for UN flotilla probe

The Electronic Intifada has published a damning report by journalist Asa Winstanley which shows that the Palestinian Authority attempted to neutralize a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution condemning Israel’s deadly attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla which 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 has published one of the several UN and Palestinian Authority documents that were obtained by Winstanley. Here are highlights from the report:

Download the document leaked to EI [PDF]

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.

Yet annotations apparently made by a European diplomat on the draft resolution obtained by EI make it clear that the PA consented to removal of this wording. A PA-backed alternative paragraph instead proposed that the HRC: “Requests the UN Secretary-General to ensure a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to the [sic] international standards.”

This difference is key because the Turkish wording specifically calls for an investigation under the authority of the HRC. Yet the weaker EU-PA version would have allowed the UN secretary-general to merely endorse an Israeli-led inquiry provided he considered it “credible.”

One of the document’s annotations explains that “TK [Turkey] has checked with their capital and they are still under high-level instruction to insist on language as originally proposed.” The note adds that “PA and PAK [Pakistan] can agree to both proposals” — i.e to replace the independent HRC investigation with one merely approved by either the UN Security Council or the secretary-general.

The report also reveals Pakistan’s dubious complicity with the EU. Check out the complete report on the Electronic Intifada’s website.

One thought on “Revealed: The Palestinian Authority tried to undermine Turkey’s push for UN flotilla probe”

  1. The Pakistan angle is interesting, and I did not have space or time to look into it. Someone else should.

    They were acting in their role as current head of the OIC.

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