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Goldstone: Israel intentionally targeted Gaza civilians

Oct. 1, 2009 9:09 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 1, 2009 10:02 P.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Richard Goldstone, the former war crimes prosecutor who led the United Nations fact-finding mission into Israel’s war on Gaza, told CNN on Wednesday that he believes Israel intentionally targeted some civilian sites during the conflict.

He stressed, however, that in his view targeting civilians was not an overall Israeli policy. Goldstone’s report, which accuses both Israel and Palestinian armed groups of war crimes, was presented to the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

Asked if he believed that Israel had targeted civilians, Goldstone said, "Not as a policy. A fully fledged formal investigation will find that out. We didn’t get near being judicial."

However, a Haaretz report on the televised interview quotes him as saying that "some of the killing...was certainly intentional. There was no mistake in bombing factories. The Israeli intelligence has very precise information."

The Jewish South African judge explained that "Israel has said that given the density of the population in Gaza - they did the best they could to avoid civilians," but added that "we certainly looked into the fact that Hamas put their weapons near civilians. We looked for proof but didn't find it."

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