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US House: UN report on Gaza 'war crimes' is biased

WASHINGTON, Nov 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday condemned as biased a U.N. report accusing Israel and Hamas of war crimes in Gaza, and urged President Obama to oppose U.N. endorsement of its findings.

The House acted despite a written protest to lawmakers by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, who said his report on the December-January war in the Gaza Strip was misrepresented.

Opponents of the House move warned that although it was non-binding, it would hurt U.S. credibility as a broker of Middle East peace.

But sponsors of the House resolution, approved 344-36, said it was necessary to formally denounce the document because it displayed a bias against close U.S. ally Israel.

The report "paints a distorted picture," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. It "epitomizes the practice of singling Israel out from all other nations for condemnation."

The Goldstone report lambasted both sides in the war, which killed up to 1,387 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, but was harsher toward Israel. It gave Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants six months to mount credible investigations or face possible prosecution in the Hague.

Both Israel and Hamas have denied committing any war crimes. Israel has criticized the report as unbalanced and says the 47-nation Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, which commissioned the report, is biased against the Jewish state. (Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau in New York; editing by Todd Eastham)

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