Israel’s cabinet has angrily rejected charges that the Israeli defence Force committed war crimes during the Gaza conflict last winter.
The UN Human Rights Council singled out the Jewish state for censure while endorsing a report by South African jurist Richard Goldstone condemning the actions of both Israeli troops and Hamas fighters. Israel’s Finance Minister, Yuval Steinitz said: “We will not accept it. The Jewish state has the right and the duty to defend its people against terrorism exactly like Russia and the United States and Turkey and any other sovereign state.” The UN backed Goldstone’s recommendation that the war crimes issue be referred to the International Criminal Court unless both sides conducted thorough investigations. The Goldstone report also criticised Israel for using white phosperous incendiary shells during the conflict and targeting several UN facilities, causing horrific burns injuries to civilians. Palestinians have been expressing their anger over a decision by their President, Mahmoud Abbas to approve a UN recommendation in Geneva two weeks ago to delay any action over the Goldstone report. A decision he has since reversed. His popularity plummeted as he was perceived to have bowed to US pressure