UN Endorses Israel-Palestinian War Crimes Report
UN Endorses Israel-Palestinian War Crimes Report
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The U.N. Human Rights Council is meeting in Geneva to discuss alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip.  Israel is worried about the repercussions.

Israel is urging the United States and other Western nations not to vote for a resolution of the U.N. Human Rights Council to adopt the Goldstone Report.  

The report, commissioned by the United Nations, accuses Israel of war crimes during the three-week Gaza War last December and January.  The resolution would also condemn Israel's failure to cooperate with the report.  A vote is expected Friday.

Israel has rejected the report as false and one-sided.  It says it was acting in legitimate self-defense against the Islamic militant group Hamas, after years of Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

"What we have seen from this biased, and unprofessional report I must add, is that it really strips away the right for self-defense from democracies and gives it to terrorists," Ayalon said.

The Goldstone report also accuses Hamas of war crimes, which the group denies, but the focus is on Israel.

Speaking Wednesday at the United Nations in New York, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki called for global action to punish Israel for war crimes.

He warned the credibility of the United Nations and international human rights law is at stake.

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In Jerusalem, Ayalon charged the U.N. Human Rights Council has become an instrument of Palestinian propaganda.  

"The Palestinians can do whatever they want in this body," Ayalon said.  "And they have the majority there unfortunately, and it really undermines its credibility and its effectiveness."

Israel fears that the Goldstone report could lead to international war crimes trials against senior officials.  But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that Israel will use every diplomatic and legal means so that will never happen.