(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
 
In his remarks to The Washington Post today (Saturday), 24 October 2009, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not imply that there is a need to establish an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the accusations included in the Goldstone report. In his full remarks to the newspaper, the Prime Minister made it clear that Israel routinely investigates incidents of the kind that occurred during Operation Cast Lead, according to existing procedures, without any connection to the Goldstone report.
 
In Prime Minister Netanyahu’s words, as stated in the full interview, Israel investigated the events even before the report was adopted by the UN Human Rights council in Geneva: "We have (already) investigated 24 of 36 claims; [we did so] not because of UN decisions but because this is our practice.  We have investigated and even tried people in the past for improper behavior because we are a democratic country." When asked, "So you’re not in favor of an independent inquiry?" Prime Minister Netanyahu replied: "We’re looking into that not because of the Goldstone report but because of our own internal needs."
 
The flow of the interview makes it clear that Prime Minister Netanyahu intended to say that Israel is already examining the events according to existing internal procedures, not that it is "considering" investigating the course of events themselves by other means.
 
In his full remarks, the Prime Minister even hinted that if there was any need to investigate anything – it was how the Goldstone commission was established in the first place: "It would be an interesting investigation to check how the Goldstone report was born in the first place."