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PA Drops Pressure on UN to Act on Gaza Op ReportBy Barak Ravid Special to Salem-News.com
A source called the Palestinian decision not to push the report, "proof that Israel was right not to cooperate with the investigation and that it was a political tool that can be blocked through diplomatic activity," a source said.
(JERUSALEM Haaretz) - The Palestinian Authority yesterday decided to drop its draft resolution condemning Israel's conduct during the Gaza offensive last winter, in effect deferring its adoption of the Goldstone Commission report accusing Israel and Hamas of war crimes.
The PA had originally planned to present the draft to the Human Rights Council in Geneva for a vote planned for today. The decision not to pursue the resolution means that any similar effort will have to wait until at least March.
An Israeli official said the decision appears to be the result of pressure by U.S. officials on their Palestinian counterparts.
The Obama administration has told the Palestinians that a renewal of the peace process must take precedence over any diplomatic initiative based on the Goldstone report, or any other initiatives that could stifle efforts to renew Israel-PA negotiations. This position was coordinated with Israel, according to an Israeli official.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said in recent days that efforts to use the Goldstone report to advance anti-Israel measures in the Human Rights Council or in international legal proceedings in The Hague would deal a deathblow to the peace process.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, meanwhile, has held talks with foreign ministers from the EU, Russia, Brazil and elsewhere about the report, which Lieberman described as a "dangerous precedent that would compromise democratic nations' ability to defend themselves."
Lieberman says follow-up steps to the Goldstone report would focus on NATO forces in Afghanistan and Russian forces in Chechnya. Israel's envoys to Geneva, headed by Ambassador Roni Leshno Yaar, are expected to continue to drive this message home in the coming weeks to try to block any attempt by another party - possibly an Arab state - to submit a resolution calling for the adoption of the Goldstone report.
The Palestinian decision not to push the report was "proof that Israel was right not to cooperate with the investigation and that it was a political tool that can be blocked through diplomatic activity," a source said.
This video was produced by Salem-News.com's Tim King in 2008, it is called The Real Images of Gaza:
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