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Palestinian leadership praises UN vote on Gaza crimes report

RIA Novosti


GAZA, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - Both rival Palestinian factions have hailed the UN endorsement of a report of an international investigation mission, which holds both Israel and Palestinian militants responsible for war crimes in Gaza.

The UN Human Rights Council's resolution adopting the so-called Goldstone report was passed in Geneva on Friday by 25 votes to six, with 11 countries abstaining and five declining to vote.

"HAMAS welcomes the endorsement of the Goldstone report and considers it a victory of the undefended...It has already become an important document in the hands of the Palestinian people," said Ahmed Yousef, a senior adviser to Gaza's Prime Minister Ismail Haniya.

Fatah spokesman Jamal Nazzal called the UN resolution "a sign of the world's just attitude toward the Palestinian people."

The UN Fact Finding Mission, which acted on a UN mandate, was instructed to investigate all facts of violations of the international human rights law, which could have been committed during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza on December 27, 2008 - January 18, 2009.

The investigation led by former South African judge Richard Goldstone concluded that both Israel and Palestinian militants committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the conflict, which killed over 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israeli citizens.

Goldstone was especially critical of Israel, both for its conduct of the war and its continued occupation of Palestinian territory.

He presented the report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 29, 2009, urging the Council and the international community as a whole to put an end to violations of international law in Israel and the Palestinian Territory.

Most of the war crimes detailed in the report were on the Israeli side, and the Israeli government has rejected the findings, severely criticizing the report as one-sided. Israel refused to cooperate with the commission, and has said it did enough in working with another UN inquiry, which only looked at the effect of the conflict on UN facilities.

The Human Rights Council recommended that the Goldstone's report be considered by the UN General Assembly.

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