Israel ‘appalled’ by Goldstone report

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it is "appalled and disappointed" by a U.N. commission report that says Israel committed war crimes during its Gaza offensive.

The 600-page report by the United Nations commission, which was headed by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, concluded that "Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity," during Operation Cast Lead in late December and January.

The report, which was released Tuesday, also found that the Palestinians committed war crimes by firing rockets into civilian areas in southern Israel.

Israel did not cooperate with the fact-finding mission, the ministry said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon, because "its mandate was clearly one-sided."

"Both the mandate of the Mission and the resolution establishing it prejudged the outcome of any investigation, gave legitimacy to the Hamas terrorist organization and disregarded the deliberate Hamas strategy of using Palestinian civilians as cover for launching terrorist attacks," the statement said.

"Notwithstanding its reservations, Israel will read the report carefully — as it does with all reports prepared by international and national organizations. Israel is committed to acting fully in accordance with international law and to examining any allegations of wrongdoing by its own forces."
 

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