Abbas orders probe into deferral of UN Gaza report

By Ma’an News Agency – 4 Oct 2009
www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=229678

Ramallah – Ma’an – President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered an investigation into why his own government delayed international action on a United Nations report on alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip.There has been an outpouring of public anger at Abbas’ leadership after the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) mission to the UN in Geneva dropped its endorsement of Judge Richard Goldstone’s report in the UN Human Rights Council last week. The PLO’s move, reportedly under US pressure, led the Council to delay action on Gaza until next year.

The secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, Abed Rabbo said in a statement that “after deliberations among President Abbas and members of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, President Abbas issued a decree to form a committee to find the reasons behind postponement of the debate on Goldstone’s report at the UN Human Rights Council.”

“The mission of the committee will be specifying the responsibilities concerning this issue and to submit a report to PLO Executive Committee within two weeks,” the statement added.

The PLO’s apparent capitulation in the Human Rights Council was widely denounced by the political factions, civil society organizations and the families of the victims of Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza last winter.

The latest official to condemn the PLO’s actions in the Human Rights Council was Salim Zanoun, the speaker of the Palestinian National Council (PNC). In a statement issued on Sunday afternoon, he said he was “shocked” at the decision to delay action on the report.

Zanoun said he supported calls for an investigation to find out who was responsible for the Geneva move.

According to the news agency AFP, Palestinian Authority Minister of National Economy Bassem Khoury tendered his resignation over the PA’s involvement in the deferral of the Goldstone report. In an interview with Ma’an however, he refused to confirm or deny this report.

Also on Saturday, a coalition of 16 Palestinian human rights and legal organizations condemned the PA and PLO leadership in a news conference in Gaza.

“As human rights organizations we strongly condemn the Palestinian leaderships’ decision to defer the proposal endorsing all the recommendations of the Fact Finding Mission, and the pressure exerted by certain members of the international community,” the organizations said in a statement read at the news conference.

“Justice delayed is justice denied,” the groups said.

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