Israel sets up panel to respond to U.N. probe


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel established a special committee to respond to the findings of a U.N. Human Rights Council probe of its Gaza operation.

The interministerial committee already has begun its work, holding meetings on how to respond to the report on Operation Cast Lead, the Jerusalem Post reported Monday.

Richard Goldstone, a South African judge who is Jewish, led the Human Rights Council investigation and is expected to present its findings in about a month. They are expected to be extremely critical of Israel.

Israeli officials have said in recent weeks that Israel will take a more aggressive stance in dealing with such reports and criticisms, according to reports.

Meanwhile, Ha’aretz reported Monday that legal experts from Israel’s Foreign Ministry are  preparing a defense brief in advance of the Goldstone findings and another report being prepared by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. Some Israeli officials believe the reports could lead to international legal action against Israel, Ha’aretz reported.

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