Lets continue with Chucks inquiry yesterday on the effects of the UN report on Israel's 22-day military campaign last year in Gaza and Israel's official response.
In Israel, some are arguing that international law is not the standard for evaluating conflict between a state and a non-state (Gaza) and thus should not be used for judging the IDF. Some are simply convinced that now is not the time to make inquires because Israel has not yet received a response form it's report to the UN and thus it should take no action. As I mentioned in yesterday's broadcast, the public would strongly oppose a commission that would 'go after' the IDF – since most Jewish citizen's of the State serve in it's army and thus are sympathetic towards it.
Those who support a commission claim that its establishment would lessen international pressure on Israel and reduce the risk of senior political and military figures being arrested while traveling abroad for alleged war crimes and put on trial.
Officers and politicians have been exposed to international persecution in the past. It is this reason precisely that, they argue, that a commission of inquiry is needed.
Holding the inquiry here, under what Israelis would deem 'fair conditions' as opposed to 'hostile tribunals', would seem a sound decision.
It is interesting in all this to note that one of the conclusions from the conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon a few summers ago, and the Israeli-made Winograd report that was subsequently released about Israel's own actions, was that the IDF was “ordered to do everything possible to limit casualties amongst its soldiers, whatever it would cost the civilians.
The result of this very broad declaration is that any target that Israeli soldiers may advance upon is to be 'softened up' first by artillery fire and aerial bombing.
So if one applies this to the densely populated of Gaza, even an army taking every precaution to fire only upon armed targets could very well bring about harm to the surrounding civilians.
We'll see what Israel will decide to do in the coming weeks as it surmises the pro's and con's of such an inquiry.
Middle East Correspondent