In light of the Goldstone report on Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip, Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki calls for legal action against the Tel Aviv leadership.
"The perpetrators of the Gaza war should stand before the international war crimes tribunal," said Mottaki, adding that Israel’s saturation bombing of the strip has damaged the Palestinian infrastructure beyond repair.
"The deliberate destruction of 200 production centers in Gaza , built by Palestinians despite their many hardships, amounts to the worst kind of war crime," said the Iranian Foreign Minister.
Mottaki said the Goldstone report had only provided a glimpse into Israel’s shocking violations of humanitarian law in its three-week attack on the Gaza last December.
Led by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone, the 575-page Goldstone report detailed numerous acts of war crimes and human rights violations committed by Israeli soldiers during their incursion into Gaza.
A war crime is defined as "a deliberate act that aims at harming civilians and causing great suffering, harming them physically, destroying their property in a way that cannot be justified".
Israel’s military foray into Gaza led to the death of nearly 1,400 Palestinians, the majority of whom were civilians.
Israeli war crimes involved the use of deadly white phosphorus shells in densely populated civilian areas, the employment of Palestinian children as human shields and the targeting of medics and hospitals.
The al-Attar teenage brothers sent shock waves around the world, after detailing the way they were taken from home at gunpoint, made to kneel in front of Israeli tanks to deter Hamas fighters from firing, and sent by Israeli soldiers into Palestinian houses to clear them.
"They would make us go first so if any fighters shot at them the bullets would hit us, not them," 14-year-old Al’a al-Attar told The Guardian.
Another shocking revelation came on January 4 when Israeli troops evacuated some 110 Gazans — half of whom were children — into a single-residential house in the Zeitoun neighborhood and warned them to stay indoors.
Twenty-four hours later, the soldiers shelled the home incessantly, killing more than 30 of the people inside the house.
The 47-nation UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has adopted a resolution this week that could bring Israeli officials a step closer to prosecution at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Israeli leaders, wary of a possible prosecution at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, have vowed a lengthy fight against the Goldstone report.
"We are now setting out to delegitimize those who try to delegitimize us. We will not tolerate it and we will respond on a case by case basis," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an address to a special ministerial forum Friday night.
Tel Aviv, together with the US, mounted an "intense" diplomatic campaign to postpone any formal consideration of the Goldstone report until next March.
The move was backed by France, Britain, and strangely enough, the Palestinian Authority.