Israeli report says Gaza operation justified by law

Israel was “justified under international law” for launching its operation in Gaza last summer, according to a report issued by Israel.

The 277-page report released on June 14 said the escalation of attacks on Israel by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip justified its broader military operation. Several government bodies have been working to prepare the report since the end of the 50-day operation known as Protective Edge.

Rubble of Gaza building after Israeli airstrikes in July 2014 photo/jta-flash90-emad nassar

Israel has refused to cooperate with the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the conflict, which as of midweek had not yet released its findings, arguing that its charge made it automatically biased against Israel and that its head, William Schabas, came in biased against Israel. Schabas quit in February; the investigation was concluded by a former New York judge, Mary McGowan Davis.

The Israeli report presents the background to the operation, including the escalation of cross-border attacks by Gaza terror groups. It also examines Israel’s efforts at self-defense, steps taken to minimize civilian Palestinian casualties and Israel’s ongoing investigation since the end of the conflict into violations of the laws of war by its soldiers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, upon receiving the report, said that it “presents the true picture” of Protective Edge.

“The report proves unequivocally that the actions carried out by the IDF and the security forces during the operation were in accordance with international law,” Netanyahu said.

“Whoever wants to automatically — and without foundation — blame Israel, let them waste their time with the U.N. Human Rights Council report. For our part, we will continue to defend our soldiers, and they will continue to defend us.”

According to the report, Israel considered 936, or 44 percent, of the 2,125 Palestinians killed during the operation to have been members of terrorist organizations. Some 761, or 36 percent, of the Palestinians killed were considered “uninvolved civilians,” including 369 children. Another 20 percent were not identified. — jta


Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.