President Shimon Peres responded
to the UN Goldstone Report saying
that it "makes a mockery of history" and that "it does not distinguish between the aggressor and the defender."
According to Peres, "War is crime and the attacker is the criminal. The defender has no choice. The Hamas terror
organization is the one who started the war and also carried out other awful crimes. Hamas has used terrorism for years against Israeli children.
"The report gives de facto legitimacy to
terrorist initiatives and ignores the obligation and right of every country to defend itself, as the UN itself had clearly stated."
The criticism aimed at Israel,
he added, "Failed to supply any other way for Hamas fire to stop. The IDF's operations have boosted the West Bank's economy, liberated Lebanon from Hezbollah terror and allowed Gazans to resume normalcy.
"The Israeli government withdrew (from
Gaza) and Hamas began a murderous rampage, firing thousands of shells on women and children – innocent civilians, instead of rebuilding Gaza and caring for the population's welfare.
"(Hamas) builds tunnels and used civilians and children to shield terrorists and hide weapons."
Former Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann also criticized the report, saying "it is a political report disguised in a legal cloak, but it is legally unfounded.
"What this report really means is that Israel is the only country in the world which is not allowed to defend itself against acts of terror. Israel is the most threatened nation in the world and yet it makes the most effort to avoid harming innocent lives.
"Any comparison of Israel's fight on terror with recent conflicts in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. immediately shows that Israel holds itself to the highest ethical standard."
Aviad Glickman contributed to this report