Reports on Palestine and Israel
The Goldstone Report
“The Goldstone Report: Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories: Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict” (September 25, 2009)
The U.N. fact-finding mission was established to investigate alleged war crimes in the Israeli war on Gaza in 2008-2009. It was headed by renowned South African judge Richard Goldstone. The mission found Hamas guilty of grave breeches of international law. However, the report is much more damning of Israel, stating that Israel had engaged in a “deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate, and terrorize a civilian population.” This indictment of Israel was not received well in Israel and the U.S., and Judge Goldstone was attacked. In 2011, he retracted this statement; his three co-authors released a joint statement criticizing Goldstone’s recantation. The official report can be found online here: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/specialsession/9/FactFindingMission.htm
Some Responses to the Goldstone Report (before and after Goldstone’s retraction)
Bisharat, George. “Goldstone Report: Israel’s failings,” LA Times (Sept. 19, 2009): http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/18/opinion/oe-bisharat18
Falk, Richard. “Why Goldstone’s Report Matters” (Sept. 19, 2009): http://mondoweiss.net/2009/09/falk-goldstone-bombshell-will-fray-jewish-support-for-israel.html
Horowitz, A., Ratner, L, & Weiss, P. (Eds.). (2011). The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict. New York: Nation Books.
This publication has two main sections: 1) an abridged version of the official report, and b) chapters on the legacy of the Goldstone report. Contributors include Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abunimah, and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Human Rights Watch Report: Israel and Palestine: Events of 2018
This report documents multiple aspects of Israel’s actions against Palestinians, including its disproportionate military, economic, and humanitarian response to Palestinian protests in Gaza; actions of Israeli occupation forces and settlers in the West Bank; the arbitrary detention of Palestinians; and the detention of Palestinian children. It also reports on rockets fired from Gaza into Israel and the responses of the Palestinian Authority (in the West Bank) and Hamas (in Gaza) to their opponents and critics. In addition, the report documents actions in Israel directed at its Palestinian citizens, including demolishing Bedouin homes. The report can be found at https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/israel/palestine
Amnesty International Report: Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories 2018
This report addresses several issues including unlawful killings by Israeli military and security forces; the impact of Israel’s blockade of Gaza and actions in the West Bank on Palestinians’ freedom of movement and access to health care, water, and sanitation; and the unlawful detention of Palestinians and their prosecution in military courts.
The report can be found at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/report-israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/
United Nations Reports
Here are two recent reports:
“Israeli Practices Affecting Human Rights of Palestinian People in oPt – Secretary-General Report” (A/74/468)
This report focuses on Israeli actions affecting Palestinian human rights in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019. It reports on excessive Israeli force leading to hundreds of Palestinian deaths and the injury of thousands of Palestinians; illegal settlement building and settler violence; forced eviction of Palestinians and home demolitions; and the impact of these actions on the human rights of Palestinians. The report can be found at https://www.un.org/unispal/document/israeli-practices-affecting-human-rights-of-palestinian-people-in-opt-secretary-general-report-a-74-468/
“Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including East Jerusalem, and the Occupied Syrian Golan”
This report addresses Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, and their impact on the human rights of Palestinians. The report covers the period from June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019. The report addresses multiple issues, including: the increase in settlement building; the actions of the Israeli government, politicians, and the courts in settlement expansion; settler violence throughout the Occupied Territories, especially Nablus and Hebron; the culpability of Israeli security forces in settler violence; the impact of settler violence on access to Palestinian lands and livelihoods; the impact of house and school demolitions on Palestinians; attacks on human rights defenders; and Israeli contraventions of international law. The report can be found at https://www.un.org/unispal/document/israeli-settlements-in-the-opt-including-east-jerusalem-and-the-occupied-syrian-golan/