Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Saturday praised Judge Richard Goldstone for an op-ed article published in the Washington Post
on Friday, in which he stated that Israel did not intentionally target civilians
during Operation Cast Lead.
Lieberman said in an interview with Channel Two's Dana Weiss on the program "Meet the Press," that while he praised Goldstone's comments he was not surprised that the judge came to the conclusions that he did.RELATED
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"We had no doubt that the truth would come out eventually," said Lieberman.
The Foreign Minister said that Goldstone actually came to the same
conclusions that the two follow-up committee's to the Goldstone
committee came to. Lieberman stated that Goldstone as well as the other
committees agreed that Israel did not intentionally fire on citizens in
Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. They all agreed, as well, that Israel's
court system acted objectively and professionally in investigating war
crimes allegations. In addition, both Goldstone and the follow-up
committees agreed that Hamas had done nothing to address allegations of
war crimes or human rights violations that the Goldstone report accused
them of during Operation Cast Lead.
Lieberman also expressed satisfaction with the fact that Goldstone
recognized the anti-Israel bias of the UN Human Rights Council.
When asked if he believed, given Goldstone's comments, that Israel
should have been more cooperative with Goldstone's fact-finding mission,
Lieberman said that Israel did not want to set a precedent of
international bodies interfering in the governments internal
Defense Minister Ehud Barak also addressed Goldstone's comments, saying that the IDF was "a
moral army that operated according to international law."
Barak added that in order to repair the damage done by the Goldstone
Report, the judge should present his current conclusions before all of
the international bodies who were presented the original report and not
merely give his opinion in a newspaper article.