Palestinians drop endorsement of Goldstone report on Gaza war
The US reportedly convinced the Palestinian Authority to withdraw its backing in order to advance the peace process. Israel had said the Goldstone report would severely damage peace talks.
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Under US pressure to advance Mideast peace, the Palestinian Authority has dropped its plans to endorse the controversial Goldstone report, the most comprehensive investigation to date of the actions of Israel and Hamas during the Gaza war. Although the report accuses both parties of war crimes, US ally Israel has rejected it for setting up a false moral equivalancy between a democratic state and a militant organization.
Haaretz reports that the US convinced the Palestinian Authority not to back the report, which was commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council and issued last month by Judge Richard Goldstone of South Africa, in order to further the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
[A political source in Jerusalem said] that the decision appears to be based on pressure from the Obama administration, exerted by way of U.S. representatives in Geneva, as well as through contacts between Washington and Ramallah.
The Obama administration has told the Palestinians that a renewal of the peace process must come before any diplomatic initiatives based on the Goldstone report, or any other initiatives that could stifle efforts to renew Israel-PA negotiations.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated in recent days that efforts to use the Goldstone report to advance anti-Israel measures in the Human Rights Council or the International Tribunal in The Hague will deal a death blow to the peace process.
The BBC notes however that some PA officials have denied that the group has withdrawn its endorsement of the Goldstone report.