Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman praised the report released Sunday by Israel on the IDF's behavior during Operation Protective Edge, and lashed out at the UN for its double-standards in singling out Israel for opprobrium.
“There is no need to wait for the UN report that is due to be released in a few days in order to know that it will not be worth the paper it is printed on,” Liberman said.
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.”
That, said Liberman, was the correct way to look at the IDF's actions during the war – and it was very unlikely the UN would agree. “That report is being released by the UN Human Rights Commission,” said Liberman. “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.”
Israel would continue fighting terrorism – and fighting for its good name, Liberman said. “We can expect nothing of value from the UN report. Israel and the IDF defend themselves and Israelis in the most moral way possible,” he added.
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.”