3 Apr 2011

Israel demands scrapping of Gaza war report

1:22 pm on 3 April 2011

Israel has called on the United Nations to scrap a report which accused it of war crimes during the Gaza offensive two years ago, after its author publicly regretted his conclusions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the report was a farce which must be cancelled immediately.

South African judge Richard Goldstone, who led the UN investigation, wrote in The Washington Post that if I had known then what I know now, the 'Goldstone Report' would have been a different document and likely less critical of Israel.

Mr Netanyahu has urged the United Nations to nullify the report, saying it must be thrown into the dustbin of history.

Israel launched a military offensive in December 2008 in response to rocket fire from Gaza.

The conflict lasted 22 days and more than 1400 people were killed, most of them Palestinians.

Israel says it did not deliberately target civilians, while Hamas fired at innocent civilians and did not conduct investigations.

Mr Netanyahu said the fact that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi on Libya was on the UN Human Rights Council that commissioned the report, made the findings especially dubious.

Judge Goldstone agreed in his opinion piece that the council has a history of bias against Israel.

He said the report's main recommendation was for Israel and Hamas to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report.

He said a subsequent UN report has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree (and) Hamas has done nothing.