Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that reading the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) report on Israel’s alleged war crimes during last summer’s fighting in Gaza “would be a waste of time.” Netanyahu
According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu claimed the UNHRC to be a “hostile body, not objective regarding Israel,” in an upfront rejection of UNHRC findings, which are expected to be released on July 29.
“We will act everywhere and as necessary in order to contend with false claims and anti-Israel initiatives,” Netanyahu told his ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
He made the remarks ahead of the release of an Israeli counter-report about the fighting in Gaza, which the Israeli Foreign Ministry will issue later Sunday in an attempt to head off the criticism of the upcoming UNHRC report.
The 50-page Israeli report argues that Israel’s actions during the 50-day military conflict were lawful, and accuses Hamas, the militant organization that controls Gaza, of committing “war crimes” against the citizens of Israel, according to the statement.
Last August, the UNHRC appointed an international team headed by William Schabas, a Canadian professor of international law, to probe into alleged war crimes during Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.
Fearing international criticism, Israel has been lobbying against the committee, charging it is “biased.” In February, Schabas said he was stepping down amidst heavy pressure.
The military operation launched by Israel on Gaza left 2,220 Palestinians dead, including at least 1,492 civilians, according to UN figures. On the Israeli side, 67 soldiers were killed along with five civilians. Enditem



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