U.S. presses Israel to address Goldstone findings


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration is urging Israel to address the allegations in the Goldstone Commission report.

"We felt very strongly that while these investigations should be investigated and addressed, that we thought on the one hand that Israel had the kind of institutions that could address these allegations," Ian Kelly, a State Department spokesman, said Monday, speaking of the U.S. role last week in deferring until March further United Nations consideration of the report accusing Israel and Hamas of war crimes during last winter’s Gaza military action. "And of course, we urged Israel to address these very serious allegations."

U.S. officials had said previously that the report, its recommendations and the mandate creating the fact-finding mission were flawed. The United States backed a failed resolution in the U.N. Human Rights Council that encouraged Israel to investigate the report’s findings. Instead, Palestinian diplomats — who wanted the council to refer the report to the U.N. legal system — agreed to defer consideration until its next session in March.

Kelly’s comment Monday was the most direct urging Israel to pursue an investigation.

Israeli spokesmen have said that the army is investigating some of the charges, including those involving the killing of civilians bearing white flags, but no charges have been filed. 

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