The document below is a summary of the IDF’s response following the recent op-ed written by Judge Richard Goldstone in the Washington Post regarding his revision of the positions expressed and published in the so-called “Goldstone Report”.
The Goldstone Report addressed IDF and Hamas conduct during Operation Cast Lead, an operation undertaken by the IDF in order to prevent rocket attacks from being carried out by Hamas and other terror organizations in the Gaza Strip against southern Israeli towns. The Report, chaired by Justice Goldstone and released in September 2009, alleged that the IDF deliberately targeted Gazan civilians and that its actions constituted evidence of war crimes.
A year and a half after the Goldstone Report was published, Justice Goldstone revised his position in an op-ed to the Washington Post. Contrary to claims in the Goldstone Report, he confirmed that the IDF did not deliberately target civilians as a matter of policy. Goldstone explained his reversal by stating that the fact-finding mission which gathered allegations regarding Cast Lead did not have the relevant information necessary to draw informed conclusions. He furthermore confirmed that the IDF thoroughly and transparently investigated its soldiers following the operation.
The IDF is committed to operate according to international law, particularly in minimizing civilian casualties and conducting internal reviews of its operations. Following the operation in Gaza, it has introduced new protocols, however these alterations do not impinge on Israel’s right and duty to protect its citizens. Hamas has, and continues to use civilians in the Gaza Strip as human shields, by locating munition caches in close proximity to hospitals and schools.
The international community must join Israel in a united effort to denounce these illegal actions for the sake of civilians on both sides.