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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Photo: AP
Abbas demands UN discuss Goldstone Report
Following much pressure, Palestinian president announces he instructed delegate in Geneva to demand vote on Gaza war report 'in order to prosecute those who perpetrated crimes against our children and women'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that he instructed the Palestinian representative in Geneva to demand a UN Human Rights Council session on to put the Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead in Gaza up for a vote, and to demand a Security Council session on the matter, "In order to prosecute those who perpetrated crimes against our children and our women," he said.

 

Abbas' remarks came in a special speech in Ramallah – his first since the storm erupted around the Palestinian stance on having the Goldstone Report discussed in the UN.

 

The president, who has been under serious scrutiny from Hamas and many other bodies in the Arab world, tried to explain Palestinian "folding" that some called a "betrayal of martyrs' blood".

 

According to Abbas, the Palestinians originally agreed to have the Goldstone Report passed on to the next UN Security Council session in six months, "following attempts by various bodies to change the original version of the resolution. These changes would have emptied the report of its content and would have harmed efforts to condemn and accuse those responsible of war crimes."

 

He said, "Following estimates that the report would not be passed in the current session, we decided to agree to have it deferred to the next session, and this cannot be turned into part of the political provacations."

 

Abbas further declared that the solution to the inter-Palestinian crisis lies in a return to the polling stations, and that the voter should decide how to resolve the conflict. 

 

Abbas' comments came on the heels of a delay of the signing of a reconciliation deal between his Fatah party and Hamas. In recent days there were signs that a possible compromise may be near, according to which both parties would sign the reconciliation deal in Egypt, but on two separate dates.

 

At this point, it seems that no deal will be signed in the coming month. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Sunday that the deal will not be signed on October 25, the date originally set, and that it will be delayed by "several weeks".

 

Arab media reported that the talks and the signing of the deal will be postponed until after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha at the end of November.

 

Fatah officials, including the faction's chairman in the Palestinian Parliament, and member of the faction's central committee Azzam al-Ahmad said they had no knowledge of a delay in the date of singing an agreement.

 

They said Egypt, who is mediating between the parties, has not updated them on a change of date.

 

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