IDF Paratroopers in Gaza
IDF Paratroopers in Gaza IDF Spokesperson

The Israeli government has slammed a decision by the United Nations Human Rights Council to launch an investigation into the IDF's operations in Gaza as "a travesty".

In a statement the Prime Minister's media adviser said that "The decision today by the UNHRC is a travesty and should be rejected by decent people everywhere," pointing out that no such probes were being launched into Hamas's illegal use of human shields and indiscriminate firing at Israeli civilians.

"Rather than investigate Hamas, which is committing a double war crime by firing rockets at Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians, the UNHRC calls for an investigation of Israel, which has gone to unprecedented lengths to keep Palestinian civilians out of harm's way, including by dropping leaflets, making phone calls and sending text messages," the statement continued.

"The UNHRC should be launching an investigation into Hamas's decision to turn hospitals into military command centers, use schools as weapons depots and place missile batteries next to playgrounds, private homes and mosques," it added, referring to numerous documented incidents in the past few days since the IDF launched the ground phase of Operation Protective Edge.

The statement went further, saying that by effectively granting terrorist groups impunity, the UNHRC was indirectly encouraging the continued use of human shields, in a perverse betrayal of its stated mission.

"By failing to condemn Hamas's systematic use of human shields and by blaming Israel for the deaths that are caused by this grotesque human shields policy, the UNHRC is sending a message to Hamas and terror organizations everywhere that using civilians as human shields is an effective strategy."

The statement went on to dismiss the validity of the investigation, saying it would not be objective and comparing it to the infamous Goldstone Report, seen by many as a transparently anti-Israel study into Operation Cast Lead in 2009.

The decision to launch an inquiry was made shortly after UNHRC chief Navi Pillay said that there is a "strong possibility" that Israel was violating international law through Operation Protective Edge.

"Like the investigation that led to the infamous Goldstone report, a report which was ultimately renounced by its own author, this investigation by a kangaroo court is a foregone conclusion," it said.

"The predicable result will be the libeling of Israel and even greater use of human shields in the future by Hamas. Those who will pay the price will be not only Israelis but also Palestinians who Hamas will redouble its efforts to use as human shields in the future."