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Judge Richard Goldstone. Accused Israel of war crimes
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US working on compromise for Goldstone
Fearing controversy over UN report into Israeli operation in Gaza will disrupt efforts to resume peace negotiations with Palestinians, Washington trying to curb Libyan request for Security Council discussion on report
WASHINGTON – The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to convene Wednesday night to decide whether or not to accept a Libyan request to discuss the Goldstone Report, which accuses Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

 

The United States and other countries are against a discussion on the report, but even if the Libyan initiative is curbed, the matter is expected to be raised during the periodical discussion on the Middle East on October 20.

 

Libya, which represents the Arab countries bloc at the Security Council, surprised the Arab countries and the Palestinians when it asked for a discussion on the report.

 

Ynet has learned that other countries are also opposed to a Security Council discussion, both because of the political aspect and due to the fact that the report should be first discussed by the Human Rights Council in Geneva, which was behind the initiative to probe the Israeli operation in Gaza.

 

The Geneva vote has been postponed by half a year after the Palestinians pulled a resolution to adopt the Goldstone Report and condemn Israel.

 

US says did not change stance

Diplomatic sources have said that the Libyan initiative will be opposed by several Security Council members, but that the issue may be voted on any case, although Libya may find it difficult to get the support of nine countries out of 15, as required.

 

Behind the scene, the Americans are trying to come up with a compromise which will see the vote on the Goldstone Report held as part of the open periodical discussion on the situation in the Middle East.

 

As far as Israel is concerned, this option is the lesser of two evils, as the discussion will deal with a variety of issues in the region. One possibility is that the sides will compromise on moving up the discussion on the situation in the Middle East.

 

A State Department source said that the US had not changed its mind on the report, which the source said focused on Israel in an unbalanced manner in most of its recommendations.

 

The American stand, which was to be expressed at the Security Council discussion Wednesday night, is that the report includes serious accusations which must be probed by both sides. Washington wants the discussion on the report to be held as part of the Human Rights Council in Geneva rather than at the UN headquarters in New York.

 

The Obama administration supports an independent Israeli investigation into the war crime claims, for fear that the controversy over the Goldstone Report will disrupt the efforts of US special envoy George Mitchell to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

 

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