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Ramallah PLC members side with Abbas over Gaza report fiasco

Oct. 6, 2009 9:29 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 7, 2009 9:26 A.M.)
Ramallah – Ma’an – Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) asked Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Maliki on Monday for an explanation as to why Palestinian diplomats dropped their endorsement of a key United Nations report on alleged war crimes in Gaza.

A statement that emerged from the Ramallah meeting was much less critical of Abbas and his government than a parallel but separate meeting of Hamas-affiliated lawmakers in the Gaza Strip that denounced President Mahmoud Abbas as a traitor for moving to delay international action on the report by Judge Richard Goldstone.

The Ramallah statement asked Al-Maliki to explain the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to follow up on the report, and welcomed Abbas’ decision to form a commission of inquiry into why the report was dropped.

The statement went on to praise the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its delegation at the UN in Geneva for supporting the report, apparently by giving delegates more time to consider its contents.

The lawmakers also urged Palestinian factions not to engage in debate that would “have a negative impact on the on the pursuit of the national reconciliation,” a possible allusion to Hamas’ strong denunciation of Abbas over the report.

Last week, Abbas, under reported pressure from the US, apparently ordered his envoy to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to move to defer action on the report until March.

Hamas leader and de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh earlier on Monday said that the decision to delay action on the Goldstone report was “an unprecedented negligence of the blood of the martyrs and the rights of the Palestinian people in Gaza, West Bank, and Jerusalem.”

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