Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Israel moves to discredit 'war crimes' report
September 16, 2009
Sheera Frenkel in Jerusalem
Israel launched a diplomatic offensive today in an attempt to discredit a damning UN report that accuses it of committing war crimes during the Gaza offensive.
Yigal Palmor, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that Israel would “deploy great diplomatic and political efforts on the international stage to block and contain the perverse and noxious effects of the Goldstone Commission report".
He added that the report set a dangerous precedent: “Every time a democracy will want to take measures to defend itself from terror, it will have to take into consideration a wide international legal campaign against its leaders and officials, based on the propaganda of the terrorists.”
Israeli officials have stated that they will not allow an independent inquiry into the military’s conduct in Gaza, so rejecting one of the key recommendations of the report.
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch:
"Justice Goldstone's reputation for fairness and integrity is unmatched, and his investigation provides the best opportunity to address alleged violations by both Hamas and Israel. What's at stake is not just finding out the truth about what happened in Gaza, but the future of international efforts to hold those who violate international law accountable."