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UN Security Council to hold debate on Goldstone report

Oct. 7, 2009 9:38 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 8, 2009 10:52 A.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – The United Nations Security Council will hold a closed-door debate on Wednesday on a report detailing allegations of war crimes committed during Israel’s winter war on Gaza.

Diplomats told reporters that the meeting will take place after Libya, which holds one of the rotating seats on the 15-member council, requested a full debate on Judge Richard Goldstone’s investigation into the Israeli offensive on Gaza.

The Palestinian Mission to the UN in New York reportedly issued a press release saying it fully supported the Libyan request.

The United Nations Human Rights Council had been set to vote on the 574-page report on Friday until the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) envoy withdrew a motion endorsing the report, allegedly under pressure from the United States.

The withdrawal of the motion meant that the Human Rights Council would delay a vote until March. The decision to delay the report has sparked a political crisis in Palestine, threatening the legitimacy of President Mahmoud Abbas and his circle of advisors.

A spokesperson for Libya's UN mission, Ahmed Gebreel, told Reuters that his country had requested a meeting "because of the seriousness of the report and because we think it's too long to wait until March."

If the Security Council meeting ends without a vote, or with a resolution being vetoed by the US, Libya could bring the issue to the General Assembly, of which it holds the rotating presidency.

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