Peres rejects U.N. report in Ban meeting


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Shimon Peres said Israel has high regard for the U.N. secretary-general but that it "cannot accept one word" of a newly released report.

The Israeli president during in a meeting Wednesday in New York with Ban Ki-moon called the report regarding Israel’s conduct during its military operation in Gaza "unfair and one-sided." The report released Tuesday said the Israel Defense Forces deliberately targeted several U.N. compounds in Gaza.

Peres acknowledged to reporters at the United Nations that Israel had "made mistakes" during the conflict, according to reports.

"I admit that we made some mistakes, but I don’t know of any war where mistakes weren’t made," he said. "We did not want to kill a single civilian, but war is terrible and our soldiers, too, were killed by IDF fire. Did we kill our soldiers on purpose? Of course not."

Peres added that Israel does not have to apologize for defending its women and children.

He also recognized Ban’s attempt to soften the committee’s report in his written response to it.

"The secretary-general is not responsible for the report," Peres said. "He tried to distinguish between what is necessary in order to be objective and fair and listen to us."

Earlier Wednesday, Ban called on Israel to lift a ban on supplies such as fuel, building materials and cash entering Gaza in a message read during a U.N.-sponsored international meeting in Cyprus in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace.

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