The author of the current article claims that a UN investigation has concluded that both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, raising the prospect that officials may seek prosecution in the International Criminal Court…
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Goldstone said the probe, which included 188 interviews, a review of 10,000 documents and 12,000 photos and video, was completed only on Tuesday morning, just hours before the hastily called news conference.
"There should be no impunity for international crimes that are committed," he said. "It's very important that justice should be done."
Israel, which refused to cooperate with the investigation, said the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council that ordered it was biased.
The investigators recommended that the UN Security Council require Israel to launch its own credible investigation into the conflict within three months. If that is not done, the investigators called on the council to refer the matter for action by the International Criminal Court prosecutor within six months. However, Israel does not accept the court's authority.
The Palestinian group Hamas rules Gaza and has been accused by Israel of using human shields during the conflict, in which almost 1,400 Palestinians were killed - many of them civilians.
"The mandate of the mission and the resolution establishing it prejudged the outcome of any investigation, gave legitimacy to the Hamas terrorist organization and disregarded the deliberate Hamas strategy of using Palestinian civilians as cover for launching terrorist attacks," Israel's Foreign Ministry said.
Goldstone, who is Jewish and has strong ties to Israel, told reporters at UN headquarters that "to accuse me of being anti-Israel is ridiculous," anticipating such criticism. He said it was in the interest of both Israelis and Palestinians to establish the truth of what happened in the conflict.
In a joint statement, nine Israeli human rights groups said the findings join a "long series of reports" indicating that Israeli and Hamas violated the laws of war. It called on the Israeli government to conduct an "independent and impartial investigation."
"Notwithstanding its reservations, Israel will read the report carefully," the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday of the UN report, noting that the military has examined more than 100 allegations regarding the conduct of its forces during the Gaza operation, resulting in 23 criminal investigations.
Hamas officials were not immediately available for comment.
The report said that Israel's attacks in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, including the shelling of a house where soldiers had forced Palestinian civilians to assemble, amounted to war crimes.
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