Friday, 16 October 2009

UN human rights council passes Goldstone report

A vote to endorse a highly critical report (pdf) on the Gaza war passed at the UN human rights council in Geneva today, despite opposition from the US and Israel.

The council approved a resolution endorsing the report, which was written by the South African judge Richard Goldstone and accused Israel and the Islamist group Hamas of war crimes during the Gaza war.

It said the report should go to the UN general assembly for consideration. The resolution condemned "the recent Israeli violations of human rights in occupied east Jerusalem", referring to recent demolitions of Palestinian houses and excavation work near the Haram al-Sharif, also known as the Temple Mount.

The vote passed with 25 votes in favour, six against and 11 abstentions. The US voted against.


UK to back Israel by abstaining on Goldstone report

Vote expected today at the UN Human Rights Council and according to the BBC the UK will abstain which if true would be a disgrace
The UN Human Rights Council is due to vote on whether to endorse a report which accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes in Gaza.

Israel has campaigned intensively to dissuade countries with voting rights from backing the report by Richard Goldstone, which it says is biased.

It says support for the report will hurt attempts to restart peace talks.

The Palestinian Authority initially backed deferring a vote, but changed its position after domestic criticism.

The report is heavily critical of Israel and urges both sides to investigate their own conduct.

If they fail to do so, it calls on the UN Security Council to refer the allegations to the International Criminal Court.

The US has dubbed the report "flawed", but has still urged - along with the UK and France - both sides to launch independent investigations.

The UK, which has voting rights on the Council, is thought likely to abstain from the vote.