Ma'an News Agency
October 6, 2009 - 12:00am

The caretaker government in Ramallah claimed during its weekly cabinet meeting on Monday that it still supports Judge Richard Goldstone’s report on alleged war crimes in Gaza.

According to a government statement, the West Bank cabinet headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that the government reaffirmed its previous stance urging the United Nations Human Rights Council to take up the report at its next session next March.

It was “unacceptable” to waste an opportunity to bring alleged Israeli war criminals to justice, the cabinet said.

The Palestinian Authority’s decision to withdraw its support for the report, reportedly under US pressure, has sparked a firestorm of criticism from across the Palestinian political spectrum.

The cabinet also expressed support for a commission formed by President Mahmoud Abbas to investigate how his own government asked the Human Rights Council to delay action on Goldstone’s report, which accused Israel and Palestinian fighters of war crimes.

However, the government said it was shocked at how the media have dealt with the deferral of the Goldstone report, describing recent coverage as “fake reports and rumors.”

The cabinet also discussed the confrontations between demonstrators and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. The cabinet condemned Israeli settlers’ alleged attempts to break into the holy mosque, and vowed to confront the Israeli government over the issue.

They also highlighted that recent news reports suggested that Israel plan to build new settlements especially the huge project on lands of the southern West Bank village of Al-Walaja near Bethlehem. The cabinet condemned these plans affirming that all Israeli plans to build more settlements in East Jerusalem and the other Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 would impede peace talks and create tension throughout the region.


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