Libya asks for UN council meeting over Gaza report
Libya requests meeting of UN Security Council to discuss UN report accusing Israel, Palestinian groups of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Spokesman for council's rotating president says request being considered, Libyan spokesman says metting to be held Wednesday
Libya on Tuesday requested a meeting of the Security Council to discuss a UN report that accused Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes during Israel's offensive in Gaza, diplomats said.
Dang Hoang Giang, a spokesman for the mission of Vietnam, which currently holds the council's rotating presidency, said the Libyan request was being considered. A Libyan spokesman, however, said he understood a meeting would be held on Wednesday.
An investigation ordered by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council and led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone found that both the Israeli armed forces and Hamas militants committed war crimes in the December-January war. But it was more critical of Israel.
The council had been due to vote on Friday on a resolution that would have condemned Israel's failure to cooperate with the inquiry and forwarded the report to the Security Council.
But action was postponed until March after US pressure aimed at getting the peace process back on track. A Palestinian official said the Palestinian Authority had agreed to a request from the United States, European Union and Russia for a delay.
The Libyan spokesman, Ahmed Gebreel, said his country, which currently has a Security Council seat, had requested the meeting "because of the seriousness of the report and because we think it's too long to wait until March."
Critics of the Palestinian Authority have accused President Mahmoud Abbas of letting his people down by agreeing to the postponement. A statement by the Palestinian observer mission at the United Nations said it fully supported the Libyan request for a council meeting.
US veto power in the Security Council effectively rules out any action or statement by the 15-nation body that is hostile to Washington's ally Israel.