JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is considering asking Arab countries to pass the Goldstone Commission report to the U.N. Security Council.
The possibility, cited by chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat and reported Tuesday by the French news agency AFP, would mark a 180-degree turn from the Palestinian delegation’s decision last Friday at the U.N. Human Rights Council to defer a vote on the report until the council’s next session in March.
The move was widely seen as a response to intense pressure from the United States and Israel, which warned that the 49-member council’s adoption of the report could torpedo efforts to relaunch Middle East peace talks. But Abbas has come under fire from Palestinians and Arabs throughout the region for the delegation’s decision, including from his own Fatah Party and Hamas leaders in Gaza.
Abbas reportedly canceled a planned visit to Damascus to meet with President Bashar Assad after Syria criticized the move.
Erakat told AFP that Abbas’ decision to consider asking the Arab bloc to take the report to international bodies came "in light of the controversy that has arisen" around the report.
The report accuses Israel of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during its Gaza military offensive last winter.