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Investigate Gaza war, U.N. General Assembly votes

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel and the Palestinian Authority must investigate their actions in the Gaza war, the United Nations General Assembly voted.

The new resolution adopted last Friday passed 98-7 with 31 abstentions. It comes despite a report submitted earlier this month by Israel and an independent inquiry underway in the PA.

The United States voted against the resolution. Fifty countries were not present for the vote.

The resolution calls for an investigation that is "independent, credible and in conformity with international standards" into charges raised in the U.N.’s Goldstone report, which stated that Israel and the Palestinians committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during last winter’s Operation Cast Lead. 

The resolution follows a similar resolution adopted last November but sets no deadline to complete the investigations. 

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, addressed the assembly before the vote.

"In the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, Israel is conducting and will continue to conduct, investigations that are independent, credible and in conformity with international standards," she said. "Such investigations are conducted by us after any military operation as part of our law and practice. The investigations after Operation Cast Lead are detailed in the reports of the State of Israel that were shared, and will continue to be shared, with the United Nations.

"Israel will never neglect its duty to defend its citizens, its existence, its democracy, and its freedom. We will do so with vigor — against Hamas, Hezbollah or any other terrorists, wherever they may be. As Israel faces this existential threat, we remain committed to acting in accordance with international law and the law of armed conflict. This basic obligation is a reflection of our values as a democracy, and our belief that human life must be protected."
 

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