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Uneven, unfair. Goldstone Photo: AP
Uneven, unfair. Goldstone Photo: AP
 
 

US: Goldstone Report unfair to Israel

State Department says UN-appointed team probing Israeli offensive in Gaza complied uneven report which 'focuses overwhelmingly on Israel's actions while keeping Hamas' deplorable acts down to generalized remarks'

AFP
Published: 09.18.09, 23:43 / Israel News

A US official said Friday that the United Nation's Goldstone Commission tasked with probing the Israeli offensive in Gaza "focused overwhelmingly on Israel's actions."

 

The Goldstone Reports censured both Israel and Hamas for violating international law and allegedly committing war crimes during the Gaza fighting.

Censure
Barak aide: Goldstone Report on Gaza war encourages terror / Roni Sofer
Defense minister's aide says findings of UN probe into IDF offensive 'reward terror,' while senior Hamas figure calls report 'politically imbalanced'
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Nevertheless, the report focused mainly on Israel, accusing the Israeli Defense Forces "of acts amounting to war crimes and perhaps, in certain circumstances, crimes against humanity."

 

Both Israel and Hamas rejected the findings, the former saying the report was biased and the latter slamming it as "politically imbalanced."

 

"Although the report covers both sides of the conflict, it focuses overwhelmingly on Israel's actions," State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said, adding Goldstone opted for "cookie cutter conclusions" about Israel's actions, while keeping "the deplorable actions of Hamas to generalized remarks."

 

Kelly did, however, urge the Israeli government to investigate the Israeli Defense Forces actions further.

 

Washington has already expressed its concerns over the validity of the report: US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said Thursday that the US had "very serious concerns about many of the recommendations in the report."

 

Speaking on the heels of Security Council session, Rice added that the US was "reviewing very carefully what is a very lengthy document. We have long expressed our very serious concern with the mandate that was given (to Goldstone's team) by the Human Rights Council prior to our joining the Council, which we viewed as unbalanced, one-sided and basically unacceptable.

 

"We will expect and believe that the appropriate venue for this report to be considered is the Human Rights Council (in Geneva) and that's our strong view. And most importantly, our view is that we need to be focused on the future," she said.

 

Rice also met with Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon in New York. She reportedly told Ayalon that the report was posed a problem not just for Israel, but for any other democracy fighting terror.

 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the report with Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi, UK Premier Gordon Brown and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

 

Netanyahu asked the three to denounce the report, saying that "if the international community expects Israel to make goodwill gestures in the interest of peace, it must fight terror as well." 

 

Roni Sofer and Yitzhak Benhorin contributed to this report  

 

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