Israel defends Gaza conflict as ‘moral war’

Claim comes days before UNHCR report into possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas

A Palestinian man  waits for a travel permit to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip yesterday. Photograph: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

A Palestinian man waits for a travel permit to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip yesterday. Photograph: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

 

Israel has claimed the Israel Defence Forces’ operation in Gaza last summer was a moral, defensive war conducted in accordance with international law.

Its defence of its actions, in a 277-page report, comes days before the release of the findings of an investigation by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) into possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas.

The UNHCR report, with which Israel refused to co-operate, is expected to serve as the foundation for the Palestinian case against Israel in the international criminal court, which is due to be submitted on June 25th.

Israel’s report highlights efforts by the IDF to avoid harm to civilians and presents the operation as an “imperative necessity” in response to rocket fire from Gaza and the threat of Hamas infiltrating through its tunnels.

The Israeli report holds Hamas responsible for many of the Palestinian civilian casualties caused by the IDF, arguing that they were unavoidable due to Hamas’s tactics of embedding militants among civilian populations.

– (Guardian service)