Palestinian factions call for forming committee to probe Goldstone report delay

Palestinian factions call for forming committee to probe Goldstone report delay

Palestinian factions and national forces on Sunday called for forming an independent national committee to investigate the parties responsible for postponing the vote on justice Richard Goldstone’s report on Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

In a press release, the factions expressed their rejection of all misleading and contradictory reasons given by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to justify its position toward the report.

They called on all legal and human rights organizations to continue to adopt the report and highlight it in different international meetings and conferences.

A popular conference will be held by the factions in Gaza on Monday to express the rejection of all segments of the Palestinian people of this dangerous precedent.

In a related context, Shihab news agency quoted informed sources in Washington as saying that a meeting between PA representatives and an Israeli delegation took place in Washington to persuade the PA to withdraw its support for Goldstone’s report.

The source told Shihab that the PA officials initially rejected the Israeli request, until Israeli officer Eli Ofarham showed up and displayed on his laptop a videotaped file showing Mahmoud Abbas urging Israel war minister Ehud Barak to continue the war on Gaza.

The sources also revealed that the PA official also listened to a recorded telephone conversation between director of the general staff office Dov Weissglas and Abbas’s aide Tayeb Abdelrahim in which the latter called on Israel to invade the refugee camps of Jabaliya and Al-Shati and said that the fall of those camps would end the rule of Hamas.

Weissglas, according to the record, said that this would lead to thousands of casualties among citizens, but Abdelrahim stressed that they all elected Hamas and chose their own destiny.

The sources added that the Israeli delegation threatened to exhibit these recorded materials to the UN members and the media and demanded the PA officials to pledge in writing not to give any country a permission to adopt Goldstone’s report.

In a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC) on Sunday, the Movement of Hamas described Abbas’s decision to form a committee to investigate the circumstances of postponing the vote on Goldstone’s report as a step to pull the wool over the eyes and an attempt to escape from his direct involvement in this regard.

Hamas added that the formation of an investigation committee is a desperate attempt by Abbas to mislead the public opinion and to absorb the anger of Palestinian masses.

For his part, Dr. Aziz Dweik, the speaker of the Palestinian legislative council (PLC) called for forming a parliamentary commission of all Palestinian factions to investigate the request to postpone the vote on Goldstone’s report, because it jeopardized the higher interests of the Palestinian people and violated the Palestinian basic law.

Dr. Dweik also called on the UN human rights council to reverse the postponement decision, saying that Abbas’s envoy to the UN Ibrahim Khreisheh is not a representative of the Palestinian people.

For his part, Oraib Al-Rantawi, the director of Jerusalem center for studies, said in a press statement to the PIC that the tactics used by Fatah to distance itself from the PA leadership is unconvincing because this leadership is at the top of Fatah and represents it, pointing out that it is a failed attempt to make a real distinction between Fatah and the PA.

“If Fatah is innocent of what happened, it has to hold accountable Fatah leaders at the head of the PA who were involved in and committed this wrongdoing…It has to pay the price because its objection to the deed alone is not enough, but it must strongly condemn those who committed the deed as well,” Rantawi underlined.