Rabbis’ group calls for independent probe of Gaza war


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A U.S. rabbinical group is calling on the Israeli government to investigate alleged Israeli abuses during the Gaza war.

In a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America called on Israel to appoint an independent commission to investigate allegations of human rights violations in Operation Cast Lead outlined in the Goldstone report.

The group said that while it was "well aware of the controversy surrounding that report, its original charter and the track record of the U.N. Human Rights Council that appointed the Goldstone Commission, " a country "committed to democracy and human rights has an obligation to uncover the truth, especially when such serious allegations of human rights abuses have been raised."

The letter added that while it believes Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have an obligation to also conduct an investigation of possible war crimes, "we are part of the Jewish community and our main concern is how Israel behaves."

Earlier this week, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said Israel should launch a "commission of inquiry or examination" to investigate war crimes charges.

Rabbis for Human Rights-North America said it planned to present the letter to the Israeli Embassy on Monday.

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