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UN General Assembly to consider Gaza war crimes by yearend

RIA Novosti

05:53 20/10/2009 NEW YORK, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - The UN General Assembly will consider by the end of the year a report on Israeli and Palestinian war crimes in Gaza, delivered by the organization's Human Rights Council, a spokesman said.

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

General Assembly spokesman Jean-Victor Nkolo said on Monday that the president of the 64th UN General Assembly, Libya's Ali Treki, began consultations with UN members and the parties involved on the date for the report's consideration, which would be held by the end of December.

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, urging the council and the international community as a whole to put an end to violations of international law in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

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.

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