Hamas: PA stance on Gaza war report 'betrayal of martyrs' blood'
Authority's request to defer UN Human Rights Council vote on resolution that would have condemned Israel's failure to cooperate with Gaza war crimes probe draws harsh criticism from Islamist groups, who say it's part of 'plot to erase signs of the massacre against the Palestinian people'
The Palestinian Authority's (PA) request to defer a UN Human Rights Council vote on the Goldstone Report constitutes "a serious crime against our people, a betrayal to the blood of our martyrs and collaboration with the Zionist enemy and cooperation with it in the war and aggression on Gaza," Hamas said.
On Friday the UN put off taking action on the report, which accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes during the January war in Gaza, after US pressure aimed at getting the peace process back on track.
The Council was due to vote on Friday on a resolution that would have condemned Israel's failure to cooperate with the UN war crimes investigation led by Richard Goldstone, and forwarded his report to the Security Council.
But Pakistan, speaking for Arab, Islamic, and African sponsors of a resolution, formally asked the forum to defer action on their text until the next regular session in March, this following a request by Palestinian envoy to Geneva Ibrahim Khraishi.
Hamas spokesman in Gaza Taher Nono said, "Not adopting the report means giving the green light to the occupation forces to carry out more war crimes against the Gaza Strip as long as it will not be held accountable for its actions with a Palestinian cover."
According to the Hamas spokesman, the PA's position proves that there is truth to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's claim that PA leaders in Ramallah had urged Israel to continue bombarding Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.
Senior Islamic Jihad figure Muhammad al-Hindi said, "While we are celebrating the release of our prisoners from the Zionist prison (in exchange for a videotape of captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit), the PA continues to cooperate with the Israeli plot to erase signs of the massacre against the Palestinian people."
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is affiliated with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), also condemned the PA's decision and called to convene the PLO's Executive Committee to discuss the issue.
Government-controlled schools throughout Gaza went on strike Saturday in protest of the PA's decision, and thousands of schoolchildren gathered at town squares to rally against what they called the "betrayal by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah," and its "trading in the blood of shahids."
Reuters contributed to the report