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The Goldstone report was commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council, a body that includes many authoritarian states, such as Cuba, China and Saudi Arabia. The U.N. panel has focused much attention on Israel in recent years, with no similar investigations into abuses such as Sudan’s campaign against Darfur, Iran’s execution of minors or the Sri Lankan campaign against the Tamil Tigers.

Israeli and many Western critics of the Goldstone report say it ignores the fact that Hamas sought to increase civilian casualties by launching rockets and placing military positions amid the civilian population.

Ms. Leibovich said the Israel Defense Forces sought to minimize those casualties and consulted attorneys when decisions were made about targeting specific buildings in Gaza from the air. Given that Gaza is one of the most densely populated regions in the world, however, civilian casualties were inevitable.

A senior Israeli official, who asked not to be named because he was discussing ongoing diplomacy, warned that there could be repercussions for Israeli relations with European countries that seek to arrest Israeli officials because of the Gaza war.

“There is ongoing work with Spain, Norway, Britain and other countries,” the official said. “It is an ongoing effort to explain the dangers of universal jurisdiction [allowing third parties to take court action involving disputes to which they were not a party]. This should be about Somalia and Sudan who have no ability or interest to investigate themselves.”

This official added that there also could be implications for Israeli cooperation with the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank.

Earlier this month, Shalom Kital, an aide to Mr. Barak, said Israel would deny the necessary portion of the radio spectrum for a cell phone company contract in the West Bank if the Palestinian Authority did not drop its request to bring Israel before the International Criminal Court in light of the Goldstone Report.

The report gives Israel six months to investigate the charges before recommending that the matter be sent to that court.

Mr. Netanyahu also warned Monday that Israel would be less prone to restart peace negotiations with the Palestinians if its officials face prosecution over the Gaza war.

“Israel will not take risks for peace if it can’t defend itself,” he said.