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Goldstone report: New roadblock to Palestinian reconciliation?

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Hatem Moussa/AP

(Read caption) A Palestinian boy stands on top of rubble last week from a building destroyed in January's Israeli military offensive, in Jebaliya, northern Gaza Strip. UN investigator Richard Goldstone defended a report Tuesday that accuses Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes during their conflict in Gaza, an allegation Israel condemns and claims is the result of bias against the Jewish state.

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JERUSALEM - The Palestinian Authority’s decision to delay further action on the Goldstone report – a UN investigation into the war in Gaza – is continuing to put Fatah leaders in a difficult political position vis-à-vis their domestic image, and may ultimately postpone progress on a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal.

Hamas said today that it had canceled a meeting between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo, where the two were expected to sign a reconciliation deal on Oct. 26. The reason, the Islamic organization said, was their outrage towards PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

“The crime of postponing the vote on Goldstone’s report left a severe psychological crack, and Abbas should immediately apologize to the Palestinian people,” said Salah al-Bardawil, a senior Gaza-based Hamas leader, in a statement sent to the media. He added: “Hamas has asked Egypt to postpone the dialogue, until Abbas apologizes.”

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