Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Israel calls UN report on Gaza "unfair"
Okay, Israel's rejection of a United Nations report that accused Jerusalem of committing war crimes in its three-week Gaza offensive was more than expected. The Jewish state has actually been speaking out loudly against the findings of the report, which was approved last week by the UN Council on Human Rights. The report blamed both Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, for committing "actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity," during the offensive that ended in January, according to Cable News Network (CNN). Israeli President Shimon Peres, a former prime minister, told CNN on Monday that the report was "one-sided" and "unfair" because his country had the right to defend itself against the barrages of missiles fired from Gaza since Hamas took control of the territory in 2007. "The right of self-defense is non-negotiable," Peres said. "I think we have shown courage in war and we have shown devotion in peace and we shall continue to struggle for peace." Not to be outdone, Hamas also rejected the portion of the report accusing it of war crimes while endorsing accusations against Israel. Hamas and Israel also disagree about the number of casualties, with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights putting the Palestinian death toll at 1,419, including 1,167 civilians, and the Israeli military saying 1,166 Palestinians were killed.