Thursday, October 15, 2009

Netanyahu: 'Responsible countries will reject Goldstone Gaza report'-"promote or hurt terror, hinder peace or advance it"

(Haaretz).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday called on members of the UN's Human Rights Council to reject a resolution endorsing a report accusing Israel and Hamas of war crimes during the fighting in Gaza last winter.

The 575-page report concluded that Israel used disproportionate force, deliberately targeted civilians, used Palestinians as human shields, and destroyed civilian infrastructure during its Dec. 27-Jan. 18 incursion into the Gaza Strip to root out Palestinian rocket squads.

At a joint press conference with visiting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, PM Netanyahu said:"Israel's only crime is that it does not have an automatic majority in the UN. We hope that all responsible countries will tomorrow vote against that decision, which aids and encourages terror and strikes at peace," he said.

"We know how absurd this decision is. We withdrew from every (inch) of Gaza, and we were told by the international community that we would be able to defend ourselves. But the thousands of rockets that were fired at our citizens forced us to launch an operation in Gaza, during which we went to great lengths so as not to harm civilians. The IDF is a moral army," said the PM.

The Geneva-based council is expected to vote Friday on a resolution that would ask the Security Council in New York to determine within six months whether both sides are carrying out credible investigations into alleged abuses or to refer the issue to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands.