In its first comments on the IDF report on Operation Protective Edge, Hamas said Sunday night that Israel, and not it, would pay the price for the “lies” the report includes.
Top Hamas terrorists Izzat al-Rishq called the report “a lie that is being spread to cover up (Israel's) war crimes. It is a blatant attempt to squeeze out of responsibility and to spread lies that will support the evil narrative” of Israel.
According to the report which Israel submitted to the UN over the weekend, the IDF went far beyond the call of duty in protecting Palestinian Arab civilians during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. "Israel sought to avoid the conflict and exercised great restraint over a period of months before the war when its citizens were targeted by sporadic rocket attacks from Gaza,” the report said. “Hamas launched attacks against Israel from the heart of its own civilian communities in Gaza and positioned its munitions and military forces there also, including in schools, hospitals and mosque.
“As well as carefully documented IDF evidence of this, we have viewed international media footage confirming several cases and are aware of senior Hamas officials' own claims to have used human shields. Each of our own armies is of course committed to protecting civilian life during combat," the report continued. "But none of us is aware of any army that takes such extensive measures as did the IDF last summer to protect the lives of the civilian population in such circumstances.”
In addition, al-Rishq said, Israel is attempting to divert attention from the “real” report that is due out in several days by the United Nations Human Rights Council. That report is expected to be far more sympathetic to Hamas than the IDF's report.
Speaking earlier, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that there was no need to wait for that report “in order to know that it will not be worth the paper it is printed on.” Speaking of the Human Rights Council, Liberman said that “there is no group in the world whose essence is the opposite of its name, with 'enlightened' countries like Cuba and Libya as its important members.”
“The crimes of the occupation are recorded in voice and image, and have been broadcast in the Arab and international media,” al-Rishq said. “Those who perpetrated these crimes will face judgment, as there will be no statute of limitations for these crimes,” he added.