22 February 2010 – The situation in the Middle East – including the report by a United Nations fact-finding mission into the deadly conflict in the Gaza Strip at the start of last year – was among the topics discussed today in Cairo between the President of the General Assembly and the leader of Egypt.
Ali Treki told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he plans to hold a plenary meeting as soon as possible to pass a resolution regarding the implementation of the recommendations made by the mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former UN war crimes prosecutor, into the conflict.
The Goldstone Report, as it has become known, found that both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants were guilty of serious human rights violations and breaches of humanitarian law during the Gaza conflict, which began in late December 2008. The Assembly has endorsed the mission’s findings.
The four-member fact-finding team, set up at the request of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, called on the two sides to carry out independent credible investigations into their actions during the conflict.
In his follow-up report submitted at the request of the Assembly, Mr. Ban stressed that he hoped Israel and the Palestinians would conduct those inquiries appropriately. “International humanitarian law needs to be fully respected and civilians must be protected in all situations and circumstances,” he wrote.