IDF wraps ‘counter-Goldstone Report’

1,000-page document refuting war-crimes charges is undergoing legal review.

By
March 23, 2010 02:04
2 minute read.

 
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The IDF has completed a 1,000-page document dissecting the allegations in the Goldstone Commission report piece by piece, and lawyers in various governmental bodies are now going over the text to ensure it sounds like a legal document, rather than a military/public diplomacy one, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The report was written by the IDF and reads like a military document, one diplomatic official said Monday, adding that it needed to be “laundered” so it sounded more like a legal paper.

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He said that lawyers in the Foreign Ministry, Justice Ministry and National Security Council were reviewing it, and that it was not clear when the document would be released.

The completion of the paper comes fast on the heels of a 500-page report, first revealed by the Post last week, that was written by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center and that documents how the Goldstone Commission whitewashed the way Hamas waged its battle against Israel.

While that report dealt with Hamas and its tactics, the still-unpublished IDF report examines the sections of the Goldstone Report on how the IDF operated, and refutes Goldstone’s allegations of war crimes on a case-by-case basis.

Another integral part of the IDF’s counter-Goldstone Report is the chapter on the humanitarian efforts the IDF made during the three-week operation.

While this report is expected to go a long way toward battling the Goldstone Commission findings, it will probably not be published until there is some Goldstone-related development, perhaps the report that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has to present to the General Assembly in some four months on progress Israel and the Palestinians have made on investigating the Goldstone findings.



“We don’t just want to take this report and throw it into the air,” the diplomatic official said. “We want to peg it to something concrete.”

Following the publication of the Goldstone Report, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi appointed Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yuval Halamish, a former chief intelligence officer in the IDF, as the “project manager” for coordinating IDF work on the report with other government offices.

One of Halamish’s first tasks was to oversee the ongoing Military Police investigations and ensure that they were moving along swiftly.

Halamish’s team also conducted a thorough review of 36 cases of alleged war crimes that the Goldstone Report accused the IDF of perpetrating, and found that a majority of them were baseless accusations.

Military Advocate-General Maj.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit has already met with representatives from different countries, as well as with officials from the UN secretariat and the Obama administration, to present findings from the report.

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