Peres: Goldstone report "mockery of history"
Israel’s president Shimon Peres has called the United Nations report on the Gaza conflict “a mockery of history”.
Mr Peres denounced it as giving a green light to terrorists.
A UN fact-finding mission, headed by South African judge Richard Goldstone, produced a 574-page report which concluded: "Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity.”
Mr Peres said: “The Hamas terror organisation is the one who started the war and also carried out other awful crimes. Hamas has used terrorism for years against Israeli children.
"The report gives de facto legitimacy to terrorist initiatives and ignores the obligation and right of every country to defend itself, as the UN itself has clearly stated.
“The Israeli government has now withdrawn from Gaza, and Hamas began a murderous rampage, firing thousands of shells on women and children – innocent civilians, instead of rebuilding Gaza and caring for the population's welfare.
Judge Goldstone’s daughter, Nicole, who lives in Toronto, revealed in an interview on Israel Army Radio that her father had been planning to come to her home for Rosh Hashanah and that he had quipped “Can we still come?” after the report was released.
But she defended the report as “unbiased” and said her father was “a Zionist who loves Israel”.
The report gives de facto legitimacy to terrorist initiatives and ignores the obligation and right of every country to defend itself
Israeli politicians have been quick to denounce the report. Danny Gillerman, Israel's former UN ambassador, said it was “blatant, one-sided, anti-Israel lies."
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Israel made the right decision not to co-operate with Judge Goldstone’s enquiries.
"The report only came out because of countries like Pakistan, Libya and Saudi Arabia, who are members of the UN Human Rights Council. The results just prove the correctness and legitimacy of the decision not to cooperate, “he said.
Former Israeli Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann claimed Israeli had been unfairly singled out by the Goldstone team.
He said: "What this report really means is that Israel is the only country in the world which is not allowed to defend itself against acts of terror. Israel is the most threatened nation in the world and yet it makes the most effort to avoid harming innocent lives.”