Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Photo: AFP
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Photo: Roee Idan

Israel: UN report on Gaza op biased, absolving of Hamas

Foreign Ministry enraged by international body's conclusions regarding incidents involving firing on UNRWA facilities, says brief unbalanced, oblivious to facts, misleading world opinion

Jerusalem was vexed Tuesday following the United Nations findings concerning military fire on an international facility in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead.


One of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) buildings was hit by Israel Defense Forces fire during January's operation in the Strip.


Israel rejected the report as "unbalanced, biased and oblivious to the facts… It completely ignored the facts presented to the UN committee, which has clearly sided with Hamas – a murderous terror group – and is therefore misleading the international public," said a Jerusalem statement.


Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have discussed the UN's finding several times in the past few days. Ban stands to release the official report on Tuesday evening.


The Foreign Ministry said that Israel began a series of independent inquests into incidents involving alleged targeting of UN facilities in the Strip immediately after the operation, and that "the conclusions have proven that the IDF never intentionally fired on any such facilities.


"Hamas' terrorists do not hold inquests. They do, however, prevent local residents from speaking the truth by means of violence and instilling fear. They are deceiving the UN, its investigators and public opinion."


Israel, added the Foreign Ministry, lent the UN its full cooperation, giving the investigators full access to intelligence reports, video footage, aerial photographs, testimonials etc., none of which found their way to the final report."


Though the report makes no mention of war crimes on Israel's part, Jerusalem still resents the fact that the UN board of inquiry completely ignored the rocket fire plaguing the western Negev for eight years.


"Hamas, being a terror organization, has chosen to locate its battleground in the midst of a densely populated area. Not only did it target Israeli citizens, it put Palestinian civilians in harms way, cynically using them as human shields," continued the Foreign Ministry's statement.


"The Israel Defense Forces took a series of measures meant to ensure international and UN facilities and vehicles were not harmed, including clearly marking them on operational maps and briefing officers and soldiers on the ground accordingly.


"One must wonder why the report assigns no blame to Hamas, which chose to locate its facilities and stage clashes with IDF forces, so close to UN facilities. It is very regrettable that this pattern, as well as Hamas' responsibility for harming Israeli and Palestinian civilians, was disregarded by the (UN) investigators.


"The UN must reach its own conclusions as to the ways in which it should deal with a complex reality that has a dangerous terror group operate near its facilities in a way perilous to their activities. We expect the UN to make a clear stand on the issue," concluded the statement.


פרסום ראשון: 05.05.09, 12:04
 new comment
This will delete your current comment