Palestine

As war report looms, UN envoy blocked from Gaza

As the prospect of a UN report on Israel’s 2014 bloodletting in Gaza draws nearer, the world body’s point man on human rights situation in the occupied territories is kept outside the Palestinian territory by Israel.

Tel Aviv once again prevented Makarim Wibisono from visiting the coastal enclave last week, with Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon saying outright on Monday, “We didn’t allow this visit.”

“Israel cooperates with all the international commissions and all (UN) rapporteurs, except when the mandate handed to them is anti-Israeli and Israel has no chance to make itself heard,” the official said, despite the age-old and unflinching US-led support for the Israeli regime on the international arena, most visibly at the United Nations.

Wibisono reports to the UN Human Rights Council. The council has been investigating the war and whose relevant report is expected to be published in the coming days.

Israel had also barred Wibisono from entering last year for a similar visit.

Nearly 2,200 Palestinians lost their lives and some 11,000 were injured in the July-August 2014 assaults. Gaza Health officials say the victims included 578 children and nearly 260 women with more than 3,100 children injured in the offensive.

The UN has said Israel was responsible for the deadly bombing of several UN institutions, including schools, in which displaced Palestinian civilians were sheltering.

In a report released Sunday, Israel defended its conduct in the war, calling it both “lawful” and “legitimate.”

The regime has been invariably justifying its incessant attacks on the impoverished sliver by alleging it has a duty to defend itself against the rockets fired from Gaza. The projectiles are seldom known to have caused injury or damage.

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