Report on PNA request to postpone vote on UN fact-finding report angers Palestinians

11:02, October 04, 2009      

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The report on the request of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to postpone the voting on a report by the United Nations' fact-finding committee headed by Judge Richard Goldstone on the outcome of the Israeli war on Gaza in January has raised strong Palestinian reactions.

The Israeli media on Friday quoted Israeli ambassador to Geneva Roni Leshno as saying that he was informed by his Palestinian counterpart Ibrahim Khreisha that the PNA would withdraw its support for adopting the UN fact-finding report related to the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip in January.

However, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat denied to reporters that the PNA has made such a request, adding "the report is totally untrue. We are not a full member in the Human Rights committee of the UN, we are only an observer which doesn't have the right to vote or withdraw any decision."

Nabil Abu Rdineh, spokesman of the Palestinian presidency in Ramallah, also denied the report that the PNA has requested not to vote for the Goldstone's report.

However, the Israeli media report said the PNA requested to postpone the voting until March 2010.

Despite the PNA denial, the other Palestinian political groups, mainly the Islamic Hamas movement, politicians, human rights groups and families of the victims that have their children killed by Israelis, expressed strong dissatisfaction with postponing the voting.

Representatives of 14 human rights and public groups told a joint news conference in Gaza on Saturday that postponing the voting "denies our people's right to have legal justice. It violates the politics on human rights, humiliates the victims and contradicts with the international commitments."

"We won't keep silent, we will double our efforts to achieve justice for the victims, who have their rights being violated. The PNA's justification to postpone the voting due to the lack of consensus is not appropriate," said the groups.

In the meanwhile, families of victims killed during the 22-day Israeli war on the Gaza Strip that ended on Jan. 18 demonstrated in northern Gaza on Saturday to protest against the postponement of the voting on the report.

Hamas movement's officials have also condemned the PNA's decision to support a delay in voting on the UN report as "betrayal, a big crime and collaboration with the Israeli occupation," adding that Hamas "expresses its astonishment and shock at delaying the voting."

The families said in a written press statement that "postponing the voting on the UN fact-finding report is "a great treason of the blood of our martyrs, the wounded and thousands of families who can not find shelters to protect them from the summer heat and winter cold."

During the 22-day Israeli air, ground and sea military offensive, official Palestinian reports said that around 1,450 Palestinians were killed, two third of whom were civilian women and children, and more than 5,000 people were injured and thousands of official constructions and civilian houses were ruined.

Meanwhile, the central committee of President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party said in a press statement sent to reporters that it welcomes the results of the UN fact-finding report, adding "we adopt the report and all its content that condemns the Israeli occupation which committed awful war crimes against our people."

"The committee expresses its deep regret for the decline that has occurred to postpone action on the resolution. Fatah central committee appeals to member states to return to the adoption of the resolution at the next meeting of the council," said Fatah central committee Saturday.

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