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UN report issues critical report on Gaza fighting

UN report issues critical report on Gaza fighting

A new United Nations report criticizes Israel for attacking U.N. installations during the Gaza campaign, according to an Israeli description Tuesday of the still unreleased document, which it called "tendentious and entirely unbalanced."
The report, commissioned by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, was expected to be presented to the Security Council later Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. Government officials said a copy was provided to Israel for comment, but would not provide the report.
The material Israel presented to the U.N. commission investigating strikes on U.N. institutions in Gaza was largely ignored in the final report, Palmor said, and no blame was placed on the Hamas militants Israel says were using the U.N. compounds for cover during the fighting.
"The spirit of the report and its language are tendentious and entirely unbalanced and ignore the facts as they were presented to the commission," the Foreign Ministry said in an official statement. "The commission prefers the positions of Hamas, a murderous terror organization, and by doing so misleads the world public."
A U.N. spokesman in Jerusalem would not comment. The U.N.'s New York offices were closed and officials there unavailable for comment.
Israel launched the offensive in Gaza on Dec. 27 to weaken Gaza's Hamas government and end years of rocket attacks by the Islamic militant group. During the three-week operation, Israeli attacks struck several U.N. compounds, including the organization's Gaza headquarters.
In one strike near a U.N. school more than 40 people were killed, according to Gaza officials. At the time, witnesses told The Associated Press that militants had fired from the area.
Ban, who called the attacks on U.N. buildings "outrageous," commissioned the investigation in February, shortly after the fighting ended. Israel said it did not intentionally strike the compounds, but was forced to act against militants using the U.N. buildings and other civilian areas for cover.
Concerned about the emerging report, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke with Ban over the weekend and the Foreign Ministry's director-general flew to New York on Monday for the same reason, government officials said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the diplomatic efforts were not publicly announced.
The three-week war killed some 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, according to Gaza health officials and human rights groups. Israel says the number was lower and a majority of the dead were militants.
Thirteen Israelis were killed.


Updated : 2021-03-05 03:40 GMT+08:00