Hamas: Goldstone report credible
Gaza City - Hamas said on Sunday that a UN report deeply critical of Israel's deadly 2008-2009 Gaza offensive remained credible, even though its main author said he had been wrong to say troops targeted civilians.
Spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that Hamas had been "surprised" by the about-turn from South African judge Richard Goldstone, who said that information he had received since the report had been published indicated that Israel had not deliberately targeted civilians, a key charge of the report.
"Hamas is surprised ... by the position in which he retracted some parts of his report and supported the Israeli narrative," the statement said, recalling that Hamas had cooperated with the inquiry, while Israel had not.
"Hamas calls on the United Nations to enforce the provisions in the Goldstone report because it had become an international document," the statement said.
It said Goldstone did not now have the right to come and change the findings.
"It is not Goldstone's private property, as a team of international judges as well as Goldstone participated in developing it - apart from the fact that it relies on a number of documents and eyewitness testimony which increases the report's strength and credibility."
Goldstone said on Saturday that his assessment had also been changed by the fact that whereas Israel had thoroughly investigated the concerns raised by his panel, Hamas had not.
"If I had known then what I know now, the report would have been a different document," he wrote in a commentary piece in the Washington Post.
The report's findings had set the tone for widespread international condemnation of the Israeli assault on Hamas-ruled Gaza in which more than 1 400 people lost their lives, the vast majority of them Palestinians.
Hamas did not react to Goldstone's assertion that they had not investigated charges against them levelled in the report, which accused Hamas of deliberately targeting civilians with rocket fire.