As Quartet Envoy Tony Blair and Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter careen around the region, showing up by design or purest coincidence together in Gaza today, the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of [Israeli] Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has suddenly authorized a significant increase in the number of trucks carrying humanitarian supplies to enter the Gaza Strip to some 144 yesterday and 177 today or so (last week it was about 100 fewer trucks than that per day).
Jimmy Carter visits the bombed-out shell of the former American International School in Gaza
Meanwhile, two Israeli human rights groups — GISHA and HAMOKED — have just gone public with their opposition to a new official procedure that restricts Palestinian civil and human rights.
Continue reading Israeli human rights groups criticize new Palestinian "naturalization" criteria separating Gazans from West Bank
Until the last minute, it was not clear how South Africa’s Justice Richard Goldstone would arrive in the region this weekend with a mandate from the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to begin an inquiry into the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead against Gaza (27 December – 18 January), or whetherIsrael will or will not let him enter the country, if he tries to come here.
Israel — which often prefers ambiguity — apparently did not reply to Goldstone’s request for a visa.
The mission’s mandate is 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.”
Continue reading Richard Goldstone due in region this weekend to begin hearings on Gaza war