UN Investigator Backtracks: Israel Didn't Target Civilians

Head of UN Panel retracts controversial conclusion
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2011 8:38 AM CDT
UN investigator Richard Goldstone, pictured here visiting a destroyed house in Gaza in 2009, retracted on Friday a controversial claim that Israel had deliberately targeted civilians.   (AP Photo/Ashraf Amra, File)

(Newser) – The author of a UN report on Israel's 2008 Gaza invasion has retracted the explosive accusation that Israel deliberately targeted citizens, reports the New York Times, sending shockwaves through Israel. "Everything we said has proven to be true,” says PM Benjamin Netanyahu, calling for the report to be completely scrapped. “Israel did not intentionally harm civilians. Its institutions and investigative bodies are worthy, while Hamas intentionally fired upon innocent civilians and did not examine anything.”

"If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document," wrote Goldstone in the Washington Post. However, Goldstone, while retracting the most damaging conclusion of the report, did not back down from other accusations of abuse and crimes committed by both sides. He also pointed out that errors in the original report could have been avoided had Israel cooperated and worked with the fact-finding team. (Read more Israel stories.)

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