Last Update 21:32
Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Hamas: Goldstone report still credible

Hamas said Sunday that a UN report deeply critical of Israel's deadly 2008-2009 Gaza offensive remained credible, even though its main author said he had been wrong to say troops targeted civilians

AFP , Sunday 3 Apr 2011
Gaza
UN investigator Richard Goldstone visits the destroyed house on June 3 2009 where members of the Samouni family were killed in an artillery strike during Israel's offensive in January 2009 in Gaza City, (AP).
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In a statement released on Sunday, spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Hamas was "surprised" by the about-turn from South African judge Richard Goldstone, who said that information he had received since indicated that Israel had not deliberately targeted civilians, a key charge of the report.

"Hamas is surprised ... by the position in which he retracted some parts of his report and supported the Israeli narrative," the statement said, recalling that Hamas had cooperated with the inquiry, while Israel had not.

"Hamas calls on the United Nations to enforce the provisions in the Goldstone report because the report has become an international document," the statement said.
It said Goldstone did not now have the right to come and change the findings.

"It is not Goldstone's private property, as a team of international judges as well as Goldstone participated in developing it - apart from the fact that it relies on a number of documents and eyewitness testimony which increases the report's strength and credibility."

On Saturday, Goldstone said his assessment had also been changed by the fact that whereas Israel had thoroughly investigated the concerns raised by his panel, Hamas had not.

"If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document," he wrote in a commentary piece in the Washington Post.
The report's findings had set the tone for widespread international condemnation of the Israeli assault on Hamas-ruled Gaza in which more than 1,400 people lost their lives, the vast majority of them Palestinians.

Hamas did not react to Goldstone's assertion that they had not investigated charges against them levelled in the report, which accused Hamas of deliberately targeting civilians with rocket fire.

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