The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, led by Justice Richard Goldstone of South Africa, has issued a call to “all interested persons and organizations to submit relevant information and documentation that will assist in the implementation of the Mission’s mandate”.
The Goldstone mission, an International Independent Fact Finding Mission established by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, is mandated “to investigate all violations of International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 whether before, during, or after”.
The Mission said that “events since June 2008 are particularly relevant” to the “armed conflict that took place between 27 December 2008 and 19 January 2009” — the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead.
Israel and Hamas began a cease-fire in June 2008 that was variously called either “open-ended”, or for six months, renewable. At the time, Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak, said that they were simultaneously preparing for a big operation in Gaza, if necessary — apparently seeking to assuage Israeli concern that such a cease-fire would only be used by Hamas to build up its military potential
The Mission said that “Due to time constraints the Mission would be grateful to receive submissions in English, but will also accept submissions in Arabic or Hebrew.” — presented as concisely as possible.
It said that “Unless otherwise indicated by the author, the Mission will assume that submissions can be made public. Please indicate whether you wish parts or whole submissions to be treated as confidential”.
The information can be submitted by email addressed to email@example.com, or by postal mail to the Secretariat of the Fact-Finding Mission c/o OHCHR, G. Motta 48, Geneva 1202, Switzerland.
Earlier, the Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict advised that “anyone wishing to make contact with the Mission during its visit to Gaza may contact the Mission by telephone at: (+970) 0597 444 158 or (+970) 0597 444 159.
The deadline for submission is 30 June 2009.
Our earlier post on the Goldstone Mission’s work in Gaza can be read here