Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that reading the United Nations Human Rights Council's report on Israel's alleged war crimes during last summer's war in Gaza was a "waste of time."
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The UNHRC is a "hostile body, not objective regarding Israel which has made more resolutions against Israel than against Syria, Iran and North Korea combined," Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
The UN council is due to publish its report within the coming days, perhaps as early as Monday.
At the start of the weekly meeting, Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mendelblit gave Netanyahu the report Israel had prepared on Operative Protective Edge to counter the one being released by the UN.
Mendelblit told the ministers that the Israeli report describes the war crimes committed by Hamas and the other Palestinian organizations, the threats of terror against Israel from Gaza, the steps Israel had taken to act within accordance of international law and to avoid harming citizens, as well as the investigations and examinations ongoing in Israel since the end of the war.
"Israel is now faced with an unprecedented attack of delegitimization," Netanyahu said after receiving the Israeli report. "This is a baseless and political attack aimed at sullying Israel. We will respond to this attack. This is the report that will portray the true picture of what happened in the operation and will prove that the actions taken by the IDF were done in accordance with international law and out of necessity to protect our citizens from the murderous terror organizations who committed double war crimes – shooting at citizens while hiding behind citizens."
"Israel is committed to international law not because of UN commissions of inquiry but because it is a democratic state," Netanyahu added. "We are not afraid to check ourselves when necessary. Israel's mechanism of investigation and examinations are the leading in the world. When there are credible claims, they are checked."
The former head of the inquiry, Canadian academic William Schabas, resigned from the committee amid Israeli allegations of bias due to consultancy work he did for the Palestine Liberation Organization.
American jurist Mary McGowan-Davis was subsequently named to head the inquiry. McGowan-Davis, who was previously a member of the panel, is regarded as a lot more fair with regard to Israel.
McGowan-Davis was head of the UNHRC's committee that implemented the findings of the Goldstone fact-finding mission into Israel's Cast Lead operation in Gaza in 2009. Israel cooperated with her at the time and provided her with substantial documentation regarding Israel's own inquiries into the operation.