Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Sunday called on Israelis to publicize far and wide the report issued earlier on Operation Protective Edge. “This is a professional report, with much serious work done by the Justice Ministry's International Department,” said Shaked. “The world needs to hear it.”
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.”
Shaked said that the report was thousands of hours in the making. “We must understand that the legal area is an important field of battle for Israel against the illegitimacy of the world's criticism of Israeli operations in Protective Edge,” said Shaked. “The report speaks for itself and shows the world that Israel has nothing to hide. Israel will continue to operate with transparency and professionalism. We do not wait for outsiders to examine what we do – we examine it ourselves and report on it.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said that the report “provides a clear message that the rule of law prevails in Israel, and that Israel fulfills all international rules of warfare. There are many in the international arena who seek to present a false, opposite view. But anyone who wishes to see the truth will realize that the IDF acted properly.”
At Sunday morning's cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed “to expose the truth: that Israel has not committed war crimes. We will work everywhere, for as much as it takes, to deal with false claims and anti-Israeli initiatives,” he said. “This report shows the true facts and proves that the actions carried out by the IDF were made in accordance with international law.”