Israel to present response to Goldstone

'NY Times': J'lem to show photographic evidence contradicting allegations of crimes against humanity.

January 24, 2010 05:59
1 minute read.

Israel will present UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with its response to the Goldstone Commission report on Thursday, Israel Radio reported Saturday night.

The Palestinians were also set to hand in a report, and Ban was expected to present his own response to the UN Security Council by February 5.

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The Goldstone report accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip last winter.

Israel's response, which was put together by the National Security Council, the Justice Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, and the IDF prosecutor, will note the damage which has been caused by allegations in the report. It was also expected to charge that the report is one-sided and biased, among other shortcomings.

The New York Times revealed some details of the Israeli response which contradict Goldstone's report, such as regarding the destruction of Gaza's sole flour mill. The Goldstone report asserts that the Bader flour mill "was hit by an airstrike, possibly by an F-16." According to "officials involved in writing the report" cited by the Times, Israeli investigators say they have photographic proof that this is false, and prove that the mill was in fact hit unintentionally hit by artillery during a firefight with Hamas militiamen, which would nullify the UN charge of an attack aimed at "denying sustenance to the civilian population," which is an explicit war crime.

A second finding cited in the Times was concerning the outflow of raw sewage due to a strike to wastewater plant, which Israel is suggesting was in fact the result of Hamas explosives, and not a "deliberate and premeditated" attack at civilian infrastructure.

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