Israel committed "actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity" during the three-week Gaza war, according to a UN special report that will be released today. The fact-finding mission, headed by the Jewish South African judge Richard Goldstone, also determined that Palestinian militants committed war crimes, but reserved most of its criticism for Israel. Goldstone's report recommends that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court open an investigation.
The report claims that the Israeli army "failed to take feasible precautions required by international law to avoid or minimize loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, and damage to civilian objects." It also confirms reports that Israel struck densely populated areas with white phosphorus, a chemical agent that causes severe burns, and that Israeli forces fired at hospitals and food supplies. The Israeli government has already dismissed the conclusions—and refused to cooperate with Goldstone's team "because its mandate was clearly one-sided."