The internationally renowned jurist who compiled a U.N. report accusing Israel of committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip says he carried out the probe because of his deep attachment to the Jewish state.

South African jurist Richard Goldstone delivered his message Monday in an op-ed piece published in the Jerusalem Post, an English-language Israeli daily. It was the first time he has reached out to the Israeli public since his report was published last month.

Goldstone's report has sparked fierce criticism in Israel. Leaders say the document is biased, with some criticizing him on a personal level.

Goldstone says he has been hurt by such criticism. He says Israel committed a "grave error" by refusing to cooperate with the investigation.