Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who led the UN investigation, said in a Washington Post column published on Friday that “if I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” and likely less critical of Israel.
Responding to Goldstone’’s piece on Saturday, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’’s prime minister, urged the world body to “nullify” the report, saying it “must be thrown into the dustbin of history”.
Goldstone indicated in his Friday essay that had Israel cooperated with him at the time, it could have shown civilians were not deliberately targeted “as a matter of policy”.
Israeli military investigations into cases of misconduct later shed light on civilian killings, Goldstone said.
“I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes,” Goldstone said.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesperson, dismissed Goldstone’’s remarks saying that “his retreat does not change the fact war crimes had been committed against 1.5 million people in Gaza,” and noted that the group cooperated fully with the fact finding mission.