Co-authors of the Goldstone Report issued a statement Thursday stressing they will not withdraw their report on the Gaza war and slammed the South African judge over his retraction.
"Nothing of substance has appeared that would in any way change the context, findings or conclusions of that report," they said in a statement published by The Guradian.
The three - Hina Jilani, Christine Chinkin and Desmond Travers - stated that recent reports in the media "have misrepresented facts in an attempt to delegitimize the findings of this report and to cast doubts on its credibility."
They further added: "The report contains the conclusions made after diligent, independent and objective consideration of the information related to the events within our mandate, and careful assessment of its reliability and credibility. We firmly stand by these conclusions."
Richard Goldstone and colleagues (Photo: AFP)
The three also addressed various inquiries conducted by the Israel Defense Forces into Operation Cast Lead and claim that the mechanisms being used by Israeli authorities "proved inadequate to genuinely ascertain the facts."
Referring to the Palestinian side, they said: "We regret that no domestic investigations at all have been started into any of the allegations of international crimes committed by members of Palestinian armed groups in Gaza which have fired thousands of rockets into southern Israel."
The three concluded by saying: "We consider that calls to reconsider or even retract the report, as well as attempts at misrepresenting its nature and purpose, disregard the right of victims, Palestinian and Israeli, to truth and justice."
They noted that since being given the mandate to investigate the Gaza war in 2009 they have been subject to personal attacks and the extraordinary pressure.
"Had we given in to pressures to sanities our conclusions, we would be doing a serious injustice to the hundreds of innocent civilians killed, the thousands injured, and the hundreds of thousands whose lives continue to be deeply affected by the conflict and the blockade."
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