Barak to Miliband: Don't accept Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2009
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Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has urged David Miliband not to accept the UN’s Goldstone report into Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, which found Israel guilty of war crimes.

Mr Barak has embarked upon a telephone campaign to key European foreign ministers to persuade them to criticise the report ahead of the meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, who will discuss the report on Thursday.

As well as speaking to Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Mr Barak also phoned French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos.

Israel has rejected the UN-commissioned Goldstone report into war crimes allegedly committed during Israel’s offensive in Gaza, and refused to co-operate with the investigation.

Mr Barak reportedly told EU ministers that to support the Goldstone report would be a green light to terrorists.

The Council will meet in Geneva to discuss the report, after the Palestinian leadership shifted its position on whether to accept its findings.

The Palestinian Authority had original signalled it would not support Goldstone's conclusions. But after increased pressure from Hamas over a potential rejection of the report, the Palestinian Authority has agreed to push for possible UN Security Council action in light of the report’s findings.

Last updated: 11:23am, October 16 2009