Israel prepares rebuttal to UN report on its war crimes in Gaza
Israel has prepared a rebuttal to a U.N. report censuring its crimes in the Gaza war, Israeli officials said.
Israel has prepared a rebuttal to a U.N. report censuring its crimes in the Gaza war, Israeli officials said on Sunday.
Issued in September by a panel under South African jurist Richard Goldstone, the non-binding report cited evidence Israel had unlawfully targeted Palestinian civilians and gave it six months to investigate -- or risk prosecution in foreign courts.
Cabinet minister Yuli Edelstein said Israel would make do with internal army probes of last year's war that resulted in a handful of courts-martial over minor offences, but would deliver a "formal response" to the Goldstone report on Thursday.
Noting that Wednesday is U.N.-designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Edelstein said he would meet U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon in New York and suggest that the report had triggered recent attacks on Jews worldwide.
"When you light a match in the name of freedom of expression and human rights and even the fight against war crimes, when the double-standard is so salient ... sometimes it is translated in a manner far more extreme than the U.N. may have intended," Edelstein said.
Israeli shelling in Gaza's cramped precincts killed hundreds of Palestinian civilians. They were the focus of the Goldstone report, though it also rebuked Hamas for its rockets -- which killed 10 Israeli civilians in the war. Three troops also died.
"Israel will pass this document on to the relevant U.N. officials, but still insists that it remains outside of the Goldstone process," N Israeli diplomat said.
Goldstone is himself Jewish and has publicly identified as a Zionist. Israeli officials say they regard his ethnicity as irrelevant to the substance of the report.
Reuters Last Mod: 24 Ocak 2010, 18:58