Jerusalem, Sep.16 (ANI): Israel has said that it does not need lessons in morality from a committee established by Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Somalia.
Responding to the findings of the Goldstone Commission Report with regard to the Israel Defence Force (IDF) aggression in the Gaza Strip earlier this year, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy said: "Israel has examined itself in the light of day in innumerable investigations and a robust system of independent courts," said Levy. "We have nothing to be ashamed of, and don't need lessons in morality from a committee established by Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Somalia."
Israel is "nauseated and furious about a report that did not surprise us in its imbalance, but did surprise us in the lack of any real pretense to balance," he said, calling it "one of the most disgraceful documents in the long collection of shameful documents put out by the United Nations."
"The immediate message of this report is: Terror pays. It says that terrorists who attack Jews, unlike terrorists who attack Americans, Spaniards, or other Arabs, will earn the protection of the UN," he said.
A Foreign Ministry statement noted that the IDF had examined more than 100 allegations regarding the conduct of its forces during the Gaza campaign, resulting in 23 outstanding criminal investigations.
Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein said: "It hurts when people without morals pretend to be warriors for human rights. They accuse us of persecuting critics of the government? As someone who was tried and imprisoned in the struggle for human rights [as a Soviet Jewish refusenik], I have to note the [irony] that not only are these critics not persecuted, they enjoy long and happy careers with wonderful salaries because of their criticism of Israel."
The 575-page report, which was released ahead of its presentation to the UN Human Rights Council later this month, contained multiple specific instances of alleged war crimes.
These included IDF strikes in the Samouni neighborhood of Zeitun, south of Gaza City, including the shelling of a house where soldiers had allegedly forced Palestinian civilians to assemble.
The report also found seven incidents where civilians were allegedly shot while leaving their homes trying to run for safety, waving white flags and sometimes even following Israeli instructions, as well as the alleged targeting of a mosque at prayer time, killing 15 people. These were all war crimes, it said.
A "direct and intentional attack" on Al-Quds Hospital and an adjacent ambulance depot in Gaza City "may constitute war crimes," the report said.
The commission, established by the UN Human Rights Council and led by former South African constitutional court judge Richard Goldstone, concluded that "Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity," during Operation Cast Lead from late December to mid-January.
The report "concludes there is also evidence that Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes, as well as possibly crimes against humanity," by firing rockets at cities in southern Israel, the UN said. (ANI)