Israel issued a report on Sunday arguing its 2014 Gaza offensive was lawful, a move aimed at pre-empting the release of findings of a U.N. war crimes investigation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scorned as a waste of time.
The 277-page report, which cited Israel’s internal probes and statements from Western leaders backing its right to self-defence, suggested the Netanyahu government hoped to defuse criticism from the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) inquiry in advance.
Deeming the HRC biased, Israel boycotted its investigators as it did those from the council who looked into its 2008-09 Gaza offensive. That HRC inquiry accused Israel of war crimes.
Launched last July after a surge of cross-border rocket fire by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups, Israel’s 50 days of shelling, air strikes and ground incursions in the congested enclave killed more than 2,256 Palestinians, including 1,563 civilians, a U.N. report said in March.