JERUSALEM (JTA) — Mahmoud Abbas said he was ordering his envoy to the U.N. Human Rights Council to demand a special session for a vote on the Goldstone Report.
The Palestinian Authority president in a televised address Sunday to the Palestinian people called on the council "to judge anyone who committed crimes against the Palestinian nation."
The demand for a special session comes two weeks after Abbas agreed to defer a vote on the United Nations report on Israel’s winter military offensive in Gaza. The deferment caused dissent throughout the Arab world, and has led to harsh criticism of Abbas’ leadership.
The report, which accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, has been tabled until the council’s spring session.
On Oct. 7, the U.N. Security Council decided it will not hold a special session to discuss the Goldstone report. However, the Security Council did agree to move up its next monthly meeting by a week, to Oct. 14, and said members may discuss the report.
Abbas’ decision to agree to postpone the vote on the report led Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, to put off a meeting scheduled for the end of this month in which Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah Party were to sign a reconciliation agreement.
Abbas said he agreed to the postponement because he feared there would not be enough support in the Human Rights Council to pass the report on for action in the Security Council.