Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cabinet to appoint team to fight Goldstone report ; Barak prevents debate over inquiry committee

(Ynet).Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday prevented a debate by the Security Cabinet on the possible establishment of an inquiry committee on Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

Barak said he believed such a committee would do more damage to Israel in the international arena, and commended the IDF once again for its conduct in the operation.

However the Cabinet did decide to establish a team to fight the Goldstone report, which claims Israel committed war crimes during Cast Lead, including its international and legal manifestations.

The team will be under the Foreign Ministry's jurisdiction, and will involve officials from other ministries if need be. Its main goal is to prepare for a possible debate on the report by the UN Security Council in December.

The Cabinet also decided to add 50 new groups to the state's list of terror organizations. The list includes pro-Palestinian, pro-Iranian, and radical Islamic groups in Israel and abroad, and will be distributed amongst Israel's allies in order to obtain international support for the battle against them.

The Cabinet had prepared to discuss the possibility of establishing a committee to probe the IDF's January offensive in Gaza as a result of a demand made by Justice Richard Goldstone, who has given Israel and Hamas six months to probe their conduct during the war.