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Sunday, February 28, 2010

UN General Assembly gives 5 more months for Gaza probes

The UN General Assembly voted on Friday to give Israel and the 'Palestinians' five more months to conduct probes of their respective actions in Gaza in Operation Cast Lead. The vote was more lopsided than in November. The 'Palestinian' drafted resolution passed 98-7 with 31 abstentions. 56 countries did not vote. General Assembly resolutions are not binding.
[Palestinian UN ambassador Riyad] Mansour welcomed the decline in the number of countries opposing the resolution from 18 in November to just seven.

He noted that the European Union, which was deeply divided in November with some countries voting for the resolution, some against and some abstaining, was more supportive in Friday's vote. No EU country voted "no" and more EU members supported the resolution including Britain, France and Spain, he said.

Some EU members had objected to the draft text calling on Switzerland to reconvene a meeting of the parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention "within five months" to enforce the convention, which spells out the obligations of an occupying power. The reference to five months was replaced in the final version with the words "as soon as possible," the same language as the November resolution.

US deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff, who voted against the resolution, reiterated that the US considers the Goldstone report "deeply flawed" and "unbalanced" in its focus on Israel and "its failure to assign appropriate responsibility to Hamas for deliberately targeting civilians."
What could go wrong?

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