UN Watch submission to Lebanon Inquiry

Click for full UN Watch submission to Lebanon Inquiry (PDF file, 4MB)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Human Rights Council
Commission of Inquiry on Lebanon
c/o Ms. Maggie Nicholson, Secretary
United Nations Office Geneva
Palais des Nations, Room A-580
1211 Geneva

October 20, 2006

Dear Messrs. Soares, Perrakis, and Othman,

As requested by Ms. Nicholson’s September 22 letter, enclosed please find materials relevant to your inquiry into the recent conflict in Lebanon. It was announced that you have already gathered information on alleged Israeli violations. The attached materials, from credible sources including leading non-governmental organizations, document Hezbollah violations during the conflict and thus provide a needed supplement.

Although resolution S-2/1 speaks only of Israeli violations, this in no way prevents you from considering the context of the conflict and making a balanced examination of both sides. Indeed, principles of fundamental justice require that you do just that.

Such an examination would not be unprecedented. The Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, whose mandate also refers only to Israeli violations, has recognized that consideration of the full picture is not only possible, but required. As he wrote in his most recent annual report, “[t]he Special Rapporteur’s mandate does not extend to human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority. It would, however, be irresponsible for a human rights special rapporteur to allow the execution of Palestinian prisoners to go unnoticed. . .”

Likewise, we appeal to your sense of professionalism and integrity in the hope that you will not allow the gross violations of Hezbollah to go unnoticed. Only by providing a full and balanced analysis will your inquiry commission be able to credibly contribute to the cause of peace in the Middle East, and to restoring the reputation of the Council.

Sincerely,

Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director

Enclosures


Index of Documents

United Nations documents

 Title  Author(s)   Content   Date
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, General Debate on the Situation in Lebanon (CERD/C/SR.1763) Member of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), Mr. Ralph F. Boyd, Jr. Remarks concerning Hezbollah’s intentional targeting of Israeli civilians 3 Aug. 2006
Selected Statements by UN Officials on Hezbollah’s actions UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour; UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland Condemnations by senior UN officials of Hezbollah’s “provocative attack” on Israel, “indiscriminate shelling” of Israeli cities, and use of civilians as shields 15 Aug. 2006
Letter to Mr. Marc Bossuyt, Chairman of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Member of the UN Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, David Rivkin, Jr. A letter outlining Hezbollah’s “wanton disregard for the laws and customs of war throughout its entire existence” 16 Aug. 2006
Report of four UN Special Rapporteurs on their Mission to Lebanon and Israel (A/HRC/2/7) Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Phillip Alston; Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Paul Hunt; Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights of internally displaced persons, Walter Kälin; Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, Miloon Kothari A report on the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel finding that Hezbollah violated international human rights and humanitarian law, including using cluster munitions and intentionally targeting Israeli civilians  2 Oct. 2006

Government Reports

Title  Author(s)   Content   Date
Human Rights Annual Report 2006 United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office A report on “major countries of concern” highlighting Syria’s support of Hezbollah and Hezbollah’s targeting of Israeli civilians 12 Oct. 2006

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) reports

 Title  Author(s)  Content Date
Hezbollah: The Face of Global Terror The American Jewish Committee A broad overview of Hezbollah’s objectives, capabilities, major terrorist operations, international criminal activities, and supporters  July 2006
Lebanon: Hezbollah Rocket Attacks on Haifa Designed to Kill Civilians Human Rights Watch An article on Hezbollah’s use of rockets containing anti-personnel ball bearings which were intended to maximize harm to civilians 18 July 2006
 Israel Under Rocket Attack: A Profile of Displacement and Destruction  Frances Raday, The Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights A report documenting the deaths, injuries and displacement of civilians in northern Israel as a result of Hezbollah’s indiscriminate attacks  Aug. 2006
Hezbollah Must End Attacks on Civilians Human Rights Watch A report finding that Hezbollah’s deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians is “without doubt a war crime”  5 Aug. 2006
Civilians in Israel Killed by Hezbollah Rockets Human Rights Watch A list of the 39 Israeli civilians killed by Hezbollah rocket attacks between July 12 and August 12, 2006 5 Aug. 2006
Hizbullah’s deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians, and Under Fire: Hizbullah’s attacks on northern Israel (press release and report, respectively) Amnesty International A press release and report documenting serious violations of international law amounting to war crimes by Hezbollah, as well as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s statements expressing his commitment to target Israeli civilians 14 Sept. 2006
 Hezbollah Hit Israel with Cluster Munitions During Conflict Human Rights Watch A report on Hezbollah’s illegal use of cluster ammunitions against Israeli civilians  18 Oct. 2006

News media articles

 Title  Author(s)  Content   Date
Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hezbollah Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times An article describing Hezbollah’s use of human shields and refusal to allow civilians to leave areas used to launch Hezbollah rockets against Israel  28 July 2006
Hezbollah’s deadly hold on heartland Sonia Verma, National Post (Canada) An article describing Hezbollah’s systematic use of hospitals, mosques, and other civilian infrastructure to launch rocket attacks against Israeli civilians 5 Aug. 2006

Click for full UN Watch submission to Lebanon Inquiry (PDF file, 4MB)

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