Friday, October 16, 2009

Black day for Democracy and Peace - U.N. rights body endorses Goldstone report accusing Israel of war crimes

(Reuters) - The U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday endorsed a Gaza report that accused both Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas of committing war crimes in their December-January conflict.

In a special session, 25 of the body's members voted in favour of the resolution that chastised Israel for failing to cooperate with the U.N. mission led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone. Another 6 voted it against and 11 abstained.

China, Russia, Egypt, India, Jordan, Pakistan, South Africa, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ghana, Indonesia, Djibouti, Liberia, Qatar, Senegal, Brazil, Mauritius, Nicaragua and Nigeria voted in favor of the report.

The abstaining countries included: Bosnia, Burkina-Faso, Cameron, Gabon, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Belgium, South Korea, Slovenia and Uruguay.

Madagascar and Kyrgyzstan were not present during the vote.

France called on Friday to delay the UN Human Rights Council vote in Geneva regarding the adoption of the Goldstone Gaza Report by half an hour in a last-minute attempt to lobby allies to reject the report's findings.

The French delegates joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent diplomatic attempts to lobby European counterparts, including Holland, Spain and Denmark, to back Israel's rejection of the report's findings.