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Israel rejects UN criticism of Gaza war conduct

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Mark Gratin/AP/The United Nations

(Read caption) Justice Richard Goldstone, Head of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, addressed the media Tuesday at the UN Headquarters.

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Israel has adamantly rejected the recommendation of a United Nations report to carry out an independent inquiry into its conduct during the 22-day Gaza war in January. Although the 575-page report released Tuesday condemned Palestinian groups for rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, it came down hardest on Israel for its treatment of Palestinian civilians during and after the war.

The report, which accuses Israel of committing war crimes, "makes a mockery of history," said Israeli President Shimon Peres.

The UN investigation of Israel’s war in Gaza, code-named Operation Cast Lead, was led by Richard Goldstone, a Jewish South African who has also served as a prosecutor for war crimes in the Balkans and Rwanda. The report looked at 36 cases that it said were representative of conduct during the war.

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