The Palestinian unity government slammed an Israeli report on last summer’s offensive on the Gaza Strip on Sunday, noting this would not change its stance regarding the demand of an international inquiry, Al-Quds newspaper reported.
“Israeli denial of targeting civilians in Gaza is a continuation for what it did during the war in the summer of 2014,” spokesman Ihab Bseeso said.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry released a 277-page report on Sunday claiming that its war on Gaza in 2014 was a moral, defensive war which was conducted in accordance with international law.
The publication of the report was timed to occur days before the release of the findings of an investigation by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) into possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas.
The report focused on Hamas’s human rights violations, holding Hamas responsible for the large number of Palestinian civilian casualties.
Benyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said the Israeli report presented “the true picture” of what happened in Gaza and that the IDF was committed to international law because “Israel is a democracy and a moral country with values”.
He added: “Whoever wants to automatically – and without foundation – blame Israel, let them waste their time with the UN Human Rights Council report.”
Israel refused to assist the UN investigators with their investigation. It also boycotted the UN Human Rights Council over a similar report issued in the wake of the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2008/2009.
According to a UN report issued in March, last summer’s 51-day Israeli offensive on Gaza caused the deaths of 2,256 Palestinians, including 1,563 civilians. On the Israeli side, 67 soldiers and six civilians were killed.
Hamas responded to the report by saying it had no value as Israeli crimes were committed in-front of the world’s eyes and were documented by mass media.