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Israel 'dismayed' by UN report on Gaza operation

RIA Novosti

13:50 16/09/2009 TEL AVIV, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - Israel said on Wednesday it was "shocked and disappointed" by a UN report accusing its military forces of war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

A UN mission on the Gaza conflict, led by Justice Richard Goldstone, released a report on Tuesday saying that both Israeli and the Palestinian forces committed "war crimes" during Israel's December 27, 2008 through January 18, 2009 attack on the enclave.

Israel reacted by saying the mission's mandate was "clearly one-sided and ignored the thousands of Hamas missile attacks on civilians in southern Israel that made the Gaza operation necessary."

"Both the mandate of the Mission and the resolution establishing it prejudged the outcome of any investigation, gave legitimacy to the Hamas terrorist organization and disregarded the deliberate Hamas strategy of using Palestinian civilians as cover for launching terrorist attacks," the Israeli Foreign Ministry said.

According to The Haaretz, the Jewish state has launched an international campaign to counteract the impact of the UN report.

"Israel began fighting the diplomatic battle yesterday to prevent the Goldstone Commission report on Israel's Cast Lead Operation in the Gaza Strip from being brought before the United Nations Security Council and from there to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where charges could be brought against Israeli officials involved in the military campaign," it said.

Israel put the death toll among Palestinians at 1,166, including 295 civilians, while the Palestinians said 1,417 were killed, including 926 civilians.


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