Foreign Ministry: Goldstone ignored our report
Jerusalem sources claim UN-appointed judge probing events of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza received thick 160-page Israeli report issued by Foreign Ministry, but chose to ignore it. Source said, 'Just as they ignored document, they would have ignored Israeli experts'
The Foreign Ministry on Thursday refuted claims made by Richard Goldstone, head of the UN-appointed committee probing Operation Cast Lead that he did not accept Israel's stance because it failed to cooperate with the committee. "He received a thick folder on his desk produced by the Foreign Ministry," a source claimed.
The Foreign Ministry source said, "Quite a few voices have been heard in Israel inquiring as to the fate of the report if Israel had not boycotted the investigating delegation but cooperated with it. Would the result be different?
"It seems that Goldstone gave the answer himself. Goldstone received a copy of a thick 160-page report, that was issued by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and details the Israeli claims one by one, including images and other proof of rocket attacks, the murder of Israeli civilians, and the violation of human rights by Hamas.
"The report was printed by the Foreign Ministry in 6,000 copies, one of which reached the Jewish judge's desk as well. It got there, but did not change a thing."
The source noted that in an interview to the American PBS network, Goldstone said, "We had a lot of information that came from Israel, both from the government - there was a long 160-odd page report from the Israeli government giving their version. We took that fully into account in making our finding."
In light of this, Jerusalem now alleges that even if Israeli experts had testified before the committee, their testimonies would most likely be ignored by the committee's members.
Yossi Levy, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said, "The four members of the committee were not really interested in getting to the bottom of things and get a real picture of the tragedy that Hamas brought down on the region.
"Just as they saw the (Israeli) report and ignored it, they would have also ignored any experts sent by Israel to the committee – this, assuming they would even hear them out at all.
"We remember all too well how one of the Israelis summoned to a hearing by the committee complained that the judges were napping during his testimony," Levy said.