(Haaretz).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Friday that Israel must prepare for a protracted struggle against a damning United Nations report on its winter offensive in Gaza, after the UN's Human Rights Council endorsed the report.
"The delegitimization [of Israel] must be delegitimized," said Netanyahu at meetings Friday. He said the battle against the report, which accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes, would be legal and diplomatic, adding that Israel should take the appropriate measures against it.
While the UN investigation labeled Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli towns as war crimes, the bulk of the findings focused on Israeli actions during the three-week campaign. The 575-page document, authored by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, concluded that Israel used disproportionate force, deliberately targeted civilians, used Palestinians as human shields and destroyed civilian infrastructure during the operation to root out Gaza rocket squads.
In his comments Friday, Netanyahu further said that the report was a symptom of a broader phenomenon that has taken place in the West and UN institutions over recent years. "The UN has returned to the dark days during which it equated Zionism with racism," he added.
Meanwhile, Israel will seek clarifications from Russia, China and India in light of their voting for the motion on Friday. The deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, said Israel was disappointed by those countries' behavior. "They needed to act with greater consideration, since the report is unprofessional, false and takes the right to self defense from democratic states, which in the end will also hurt them," said Ayalon at a cultural event in Holon.