An Israeli research center published a report on Hamas Monday which largely conflicts with the findings of the Goldstone report on Operation Cast Lead, saying Judge Richard Goldstone ignored Hamas’ growth before the operation as well as its cynical use of civilians.
Dr. (Col. Res.) Reuven Erlich, who heads the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, told Ynet the report took six months to research.
“We did not set out to attack Goldstone and his sources, but rather went to probe the facts with the best methodology,” he said. “Goldstone was selective and ignored many findings. We used intelligence materials based on reality.”
Erlich says his report revealed cynical use of the civilian population of Gaza by Hamas. It is divided into a number of chapters, each referring to the findings of the Goldstone report on the same subject.
“We researched each subject objectively in order to get at the facts. We received substantial assistance – materials, interviews, and aid in everything relevant to the issues we researched. We did not attack with slogans but rather presented intelligence, documentation, and investigations, and we showed what exists and what doesn’t,” he said.
In contrast, Erlich says, Goldstone selected his materials and ignored a large part of the evidence. “For example, Goldstone did not refer to Hamas’s armament . In matters supporting the Israeli narrative he preferred to say less,” he said.
The report, Erlich says, is meant to assist anyone investigating Operation Cast Lead, including the government. “We are a private center and not government-run. Our aim is to provide tools for anyone dealing with the matter, whether it be a UN human rights group or the Security Council,” he said.
“The report discusses all of the issues with which the legitimacy of Cast Lead is being questioned. Various officials are trying to do this by minimizing the problem faced by the IDF.”