UN Pushes Israel to Cooperate With Drone Probe

Investigation of Civilian Killings in Drone Strikes to Include Gaza Attacks

by Jason Ditz, February 21, 2013

The UN Human Rights Council has appointed special rapporteur Ben Emmerson to investigate drone strikes which have killed civilians. Emmerson is taking a proactive stance on the report, urging Israel not to boycott it the way they have so many other Human Rights Council investigations.

Emmerson’s investigation was expected to focus almost exclusively on the US, which has killed a large number of civilians worldwide in such strikes. He has recently confirmed that British strikes in Afghanistan and Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip which have killed civilians would also be included.

Emmerson has been pushing for the creation of some mechanism for the UN to routinely investigate such attacks when civilians are killed, but has faced major resistance from the Obama Administration, which has refused to turn over footage of its strikes, citing national security.

Israel has a long-standing policy of opposing any UN investigation it is even tangentially involved in, and last month became the first nation to ever pre-emptively boycott its own routine human rights review. There hasn’t been a public statement yet from them about the drone probe, but it will predictably face an angry condemnation if the final report mentions the Gaza killings.

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