UN Envoy on Gaza Fact-finding Mission

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is on a mission to find facts about the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip at the turn of 2009.

Pillay, who arrived in al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Sunday, is scheduled to meet with acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Mahmoud Abbas, PA Prime Minister Salam Feyadh and other officials in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday, her spokesman Rupert Colville told AFP on Sunday.

He said that she will later meet Israeli President Shimon Peres, his cabinet ministers and lawmakers.

Pillay is expected to visit the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank territories and investigate the Goldstone report over the Israeli-imposed war on Gaza.

Israel launched "Operation Cast Lead" against the densely-populated territory on December 27, 2008, killing at least 1,400 Palestinians and wounding thousands of others.

In September 2009, a UN fact-finding team, headed by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, released a report, accusing Israeli military forces of war crimes against the Palestinians during the three-week onslaught against the besieged enclave.

A report also said that Israel had dropped more than 3,000 tons of munitions containing incendiary materials on the Gaza Strip during its onslaught.

Israel has traditionally been sharply critical of UN human rights bodies and their criticism of violations in the occupied Palestinian territories and has refused to cooperate.

Successive UN human rights chiefs have been highly critical of Israel’s illegal settlement plans, its Gaza blockade since 2007, the building of the apartheid wall dividing Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank and several other restrictions.

Meanwhile, a joint statement by 13 Israeli and Palestinian rights organizations issued on Saturday complained that there had been no follow-up to the Goldstone findings.

"Is the Goldstone report dead?" it asked. "Over two years have passed since the end of the Israeli attack … on the Gaza Strip, and justice for victims has yet to be addressed."

(Press TV)

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