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Israeli Leader Calls UN Gaza Report 'Waste of Time'

  • VOA News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly Cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, June 14, 2015.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly Cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, June 14, 2015.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is criticizing an upcoming U.N. report about last year's war in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu called the U.N. report a "waste of time" and "a baseless automatic accusation against Israel."

Israel released its own report, saying Israeli forces did not intentionally target civilians and accusing Gaza's Hamas rulers of deliberately attacking Israeli civilians while using their own people as human shields.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the Israeli report "worthless." The Palestinians have accused Israel of violating the rules of war, which include giving adequate warning to civilians, using proportionate force and distinguishing between civilians and combatants.

The U.N. Human Rights Council report is expected to be released this week.

Meanwhile, an unofficial report compiled by 11 former chiefs of staff, generals and other senior American and European officials came to similar conclusions as the Israeli report. The generals' report said, "None of us is aware of any army that takes such extensive measures as did the [Israeli military] last summer to protect the lives of the civilian population in such circumstances."

Both reports say Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups launched attacks from residential areas in Gaza.

Launched last July after a surge of indiscriminate cross-border rocket fire by Hamas and its allies, Israel's 50 days of shelling, air strikes and ground incursions in the congested enclave killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, while 73 people died on the Israeli side.

Some material for this report came from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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