On the first day of the war, Israel targeted police stations and 250 martyrs who were part of Hamas and the various factions fell." He added that, "about 200 to 300 were killed from the Qassam Brigades, as well as 150 security personnel."
Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad, Jerusalem Post, November 1, 2010
Pity no one seems to really be talking about the Goldstone Report anymore--seeing as even now facts surface that contradict it.
At the time when Hamas admitted that Israel was correct and a larger percentage of combatants were killed by Israel than what the Goldstone claimed, CAMERA noted, the Hamas admission directly undercuts the Goldstone Report's contention that Israel targeted civilians as well:
Alan Dershowitz also pointed out that Israel's version of the number of Hamas terrorists killed in Operation Cast Lead was vindicated:Hamad's admission gives greater credence to the assertion of British Colonel Richard Kemp that the Israelis acted with greater restraint than other military forces engaged in similar circumstances. The Israeli forces encountered an environment in which opposing forces were intermingled with civilian populations; distinguishing combatants from non-combatants was difficult. This difficulty was compounded by the intentional blending of civilians and combatants by Hamas. During the war, the New York Times reported that the Hamas leadership issued instructions for its fighters to shed their uniforms in order to blend in to the civilian population.
The Israel Defense Force put the total number of known combatants killed at 709 and the number of known civilian deaths at 295, with 162 (mostly men of fighting age) "unknown." Such a ratio, if true, would be far better than that achieved by any other nation in a comparable conflict. Not surprisingly, Israel's enemies initially disputed this ratio and claimed that the number of combatants killed was far lower and the number of civilians far higher. The United Nations, the Goldstone Report, various "human rights" organizations and many in the media automatically rejected Israel's documented figures, preferring the distorted numbers offered by Hamas' and other Palestinian sources.CAMERA has suggested that the reason behind the Hamas admission is because of the appearance that Hamas chickened out and abandoned it's people. Dershowitz likewise notes that Hamas has been under pressure from rival terrorist groups that it did not do enough to protect Gaza.
But a statement recently made by a Hamas leader confirms that Israel was correct in claiming that approximately 700 combatants were killed.
In any case, what did Hamas have to lose by finally coming clean: at this point who is going to go back and correct the record--certainly not Judge Goldstone or the UN.
But the fact remains that the fact that Goldstone's conclusions have been proven wrong is no small matter.
Because it uncritically accepted the original Hamas claims of very few combatant deaths, the Goldstone Report was able to reach its flawed conclusion that the purpose of the operation must have been to kill civilians, not combatants.Back in November, the founder of Human Rights Watch--Robert Bernstein--spoke at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, also pointed out that the Hamas admission that Israel was right about Operation Cast Lead requires a reevaluation of the Goldstone Report:
Now that the truth has been admitted by the Hamas leadership -- that as many as 700 combatants were, in fact, killed -- the Goldstone Commission is obliged to reconsider its false conclusion and correct its deeply flawed report.
Richard Goldstone himself has repeatedly said that he hoped that new evidence will prove his conclusions wrong. Well, this new evidence -- a classic admission against interest -- does just that!
It is this issue of civilian deaths which is perhaps the most focused-on discussion of all human rights discussions concerning Palestine and Israel. Human Rights Watch believes that they can sort out where civilian deaths should not have occurred and then by severely attacking those who committed those deaths can shame them into being more careful next time. The argument over the 1,200 to 1,300 deaths in Gaza has been intense. Let me make perfectly clear that nobody, certainly those who have spent our lives in human rights, want any civilian death (or for that matter, soldier’s death) to occur. Certainly not avoidable ones. However, if by chance, Human Rights Watch is wrong in their analyses of the deaths in the Gaza war and blaming Israel for deaths that are really the collateral damage of war, think of the damage that’s been done to Israel. On Thursday, November 4, a report came out that Fathi Hamad, the Hamas administration’s Interior Minister, revealed that as many as 700 Hamas military-security operatives were killed during Operation Cast Lead. The number, consistent with Israel’s examination, is significantly higher than the numbers given by Hamas and used by the Goldstone Report. It would indicate that about 60 percent of those killed in the war were actively engaged and not civilians – despite Hamas’s tactic of embedding itself in the civilian population of Gaza. If this report holds up, it will be interesting to see if the Goldstone Report and Human Rights Watch reports are reevaluated by them – all of which took the Palestinians’ figures as fact.After having been lectured by the many backers that Judge Richard Goldstone is an honorable and respectable man, we would expect that in the light of information directly contradicting his Goldstone Report, Judge Goldstone himself would come forward. We would expect that he would say something about how this affects the validity of his report and whether he would reevaluate its conclusions--and why.
No one is surprised by the silence of the UN in general--or of the UN Human Rights Council in particular. That is to be expected.
But Goldstone's silence in the face of new contradictory evidence is unfortunately consistent with his failure to follow through on his promise to confront the many errors pointed out in the Goldstone Report.
Here is a man who accused Israel of war crimes and of purposely targeting civilians.
How can he be silent in the face of new evidence that Israel was falsely accused?
Technorati Tag: Goldstone Report and Gaza and Hamas and Operation Cast Lead.