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Israel's Cabinet Rejects UN War Crimes Report


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Israel is brushing off last week's resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which endorsed a report accusing the Jewish state of war crimes during the Gaza conflict.

Israel's Cabinet angrily rejected the United Nations resolution, saying the army's three-week assault on the Gaza Strip last December and January was legitimate self-defense.

Israel will defend itself at any price," said Cabinet Minister Yossi Peled. "This is a duty and a right."

The Goldstone Report endorsed by the U.N. Human Right Council on Friday accuses Israel of war crimes during the Gaza conflict. But the Cabinet said Israel was responding to years of Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas. The report also accuses Hamas of war crimes, but the international focus has been on Israeli actions which killed at least 1,100 Palestinians, many of them civilians.

Cabinet Minster Yuval Shteinitz accused the international community of a double standard.

Steinitz said it is an anti-Semitic resolution in which the same right of self-defense that is allowed to the United States in Afghanistan and Russia in Chechnya is denied to Israel in the Gaza Strip.

The Goldstone Report will now go to the U.N. Security Council which could refer it to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Steinitz warned that if the Palestinians continue to incite against Israel in every international forum, it will harm the peace process.

He said Israel "will not continue to turn the other cheek."


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