UN: Israel, Palestinians guilty of Gaza war crimes
United Nations investigator Judge Richard Goldstone said on Tuesday that his commission had found that both Israel and the Palestinians committed war crimes during the offensive on the Gaza Strip earlier this year.
Goldstone concluded that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity, during its December 27-January 18 military operations in the Hamas-ruled territory.
A summary of his nearly 600-page report on the fact-finding mission's conclusions also said the firing of rockets into Israel by Palestinian militants where there were no military targets would constitute war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity, as well.
Goldstone, a former chief UN war crimes prosecutor heading the four-person inquiry team, said he would pass on his findings to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
Israel refused to cooperate with the mission because it regarded it as having biased instructions from the UN Human Rights Council, which has a track record of repeatedly singling out Israel for criticism and turning a blind eye to any Palestinian wrongdoing.
The Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor earlier this month casted doubt as to the neutrality of the Goldstone Commission on Gaza.
Goldstone said in July he regards the mandate of the fact-finding mission as requiring an independent investigation into all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law during the IDF's 22-day offensive.
"The testimonies we have heard from victims and witnesses... have been very difficult to hear, but I believe it is important that we listen to these stories," said Goldstone.