Israel preparing response to Goldstone


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has prepared a response to the Goldstone report, which accuses Israel of committing war crimes during the Gaza war.

The response, expected to be handed over to the United Nations on Thursday, reportedly will include photographic evidence that contradicts Goldstone’s war crimes charges against Israel.

The United Nations-commissioned Goldstone report issued in September gave Israel six months to investigate its alleged crimes before turning the matter over to international courts. 

Some of the findings that reportedly refute the Goldstone report include evidence that the one Gaza flour mill was not deliberately attacked by Israel, but that it was hit by Hamas, The New York Times reported Saturday. In addition, a sewage plant that was said to be deliberately targeted by Israel was hit mistakenly during an exchange of fire with Hamas.

Israel’s response was put together by the National Security Council, the Justice Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Israel Defense Forces prosecutor. Hamas also is reportedly working on a response.

Meanwhile, Israel told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that it will pay $10.5 million in compensation for damage caused to U.N. buildings and equipment during last winter’s Operation Cast Lead, Ban announced Friday.

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