Israel comdemns the United Nations Human Rights Council’s approval of the Goldstone Report which accuses Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas of war crimes during the Gaza conflict in January.
Israel says the resolution is biased and one-sided, and the charges of war crimes are outrageous.
“This diktat is phrased in very extreme terms that try to impose rules that will make it impossible for any country to defend themselves against terror,” said Israeli spokesman Yigal Palmor.
Israel says its three-week assault on the Gaza Strip was an act of legitimate self-defense in response to years of Palestinian rocket attacks.
The resolution also accuses Hamas of war crimes, something the Islamic militant group denies. But the international focus is on Israeli actions which killed at least 1,100 Palestinians.
The matter will now be referred to the United Nations Security Council which has the authority to involve the International Criminal Court in The Hague. But that poses a dilemma for the world powers which are trying to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Palmor says any punitive action will have negative consequences. “If this implies any practical steps taken against Israel, it will make it impossible for any Israeli government to take risks for the sake of peace and that will be detrimental for the peace process,” he said.
Palestinian officials welcomed the resolution, but chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the question is what happens next. “I think the most important thing now is the follow-up. The follow-up here is that we want to insure the non-reoccurrence of such massacres against the Palestinian people,” he said.
The Palestinians fear that the United States, which voted against the resolution, will bury it in the Security Council.