- Israel is a democracy, with a well-developed legal system. Even though it has confronted constant and existential threats from neighbouring states and non-state actors, Israel stands committed to the rule of law.
- Under Israel’s Basic Law for the Military, the IDF is subordinate and accountable to the civilian Government. Like any other governmental authority, it is subject to the rule of law, including the applicable rules of international law.
- The deliberate strategy of Hamas to blend in with the civilian population made it difficult for the IDF to achieve the objective of the Gaza Operation – reducing the threat of deliberate attacks against Israeli civilians.
- The IDF undertook strenuous efforts to minimise such harm. It intensively trained its personnel on the requirements of the Law of Armed Conflict. It delayed, diverted, or refrained from attacks to spare civilian life. It provided numerous and varied types of concrete warnings before launching attacks. Nevertheless, Israel’s efforts to comply with the Law of Armed Conflict do not lessen its regret for the loss of innocent lives and damage to civilian property.
- On 20 January 2009 – just two days after the conclusion of the Gaza Operation – IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi ordered five special command investigations into a range of allegations raised by international and non-governmental organisations and various news media.
But to continue....
- Following the U.N. Board of Inquiry’s examination, and notwithstanding certain reservations it had with some aspects of the Board’s report, Israel entered into a dialogue with the United Nations to address all issues arising from the incidents examined. On 22 January 2010, the Secretary General thanked Israel for its “cooperative approach” in these discussions and confirmed that all financial issues relating to these incidents had been satisfactorily concluded.
But to continue...
- Goldstone suggested, claimed, inferred, that Israel had used white phosphorous. Israel's investigation of all military records shows "With respect to exploding munitions containing white phosphorous, the
Military Advocate General concluded that the use of this weapon in the operation was consistent with Israel’s obligations under international law."
- With respect to smoke projectiles, "the Military Advocate General found that international law does not prohibit use of smoke projectiles containing phosphorous. Specifically, such projectiles are not “incendiary weapons,” within the meaning of the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons,108 because they are not primarily designed to set fire or to burn. The Military Advocate General further determined that during the Gaza Operation, the IDF used such smoke projectiles for military purposes only, for instance to camouflage IDF armor forces from Hamas’s antitank units by creating smoke screens."
Yes, there are accidents and mistakes in war - that's part of what makes it war. There are innocents that died - but where Richard Goldstone's ego easily overpowered his intelligence was in his failure to note the fundamental difference between Israel and the enemy it fought in Gaza. His unforgivable failure was that he did not note that OUR target was Hamas while trying our best to avoid innocent non-combatants, while Hamas' target were innocent Israelis and if they managed to hit soldiers too - all the better.
There will be no accountability in Gaza - only smiles for those innocents the murdered and regret for those rockets they launched at Israel that failed to hit their mark. The Israeli response to Goldstone's commission is well delivered and will be ignored by the likes of Goldstone because it isn't the conclusion he was paid to deliver.