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Goldstone report: UN votes for probe into Gaza war crimes

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The UN resolution calls on Israel and "the Palestinian side" to undertake investigations into the Goldstone allegations within three months, and asks UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to transmit the report to the Security Council.

In explaining to the Assembly the US's "no" vote, deputy US ambassador to the UN Alejandro Wolff said the US encourages "all parties to meet their obligations and pursue credible domestic investigations." But, he said, the US opposes "international supervision" of those investigations.

Moreover, Ambassador Wolff said the US could not support a report that is "deeply flawed – including its unbalanced focus in Israel … [and] its failure to assign appropriate responsibility to Hamas for its decision to base itself and its operations in heavily civilian-populated areas."

In earlier testimony, the Palestinian representative at the UN, Riyad Mansour, characterized the Assembly's vote as a "test" of the international community's willingness to hold Israel accountable for its military actions against the Palestinian people.

"We take very seriously the allegations contained in the Goldstone report regarding possible Palestinian violations," Mr. Mansour said, adding that his side was committed "to the pursuit of domestic legal investigations." But he nonetheless rejected "any equation of the occupying power's aggression and crimes with actions committed in response by the Palestinian side."

Israel's position has been that the Gaza offensive was carried out in self-defense to protect Israeli civilians from Hamas's firing of rockets into Israeli territory. Israel's UN ambassador, Gabriela Shalev, said the Goldstone report ignored Hamas's "terror activity" as well as "the complexity of military challenges in fighting terrorists in urban warfare."

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