Palestinian leaders drop backing for resolution on document critical of Israel and Hamas
Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem and agencies in Geneva
guardian.co.uk, Friday 2 October 2009
"The UN today put off action on a report criticising Israel's actions during the war in Gaza after Palestinian leaders suddenly dropped their support for a resolution, apparently under heavy US pressure.
The decision marked a surprising reversal in the Palestinian position which, until now, had backed the findings of the report by the South African judge Richard Goldstone.....
That vote will now be delayed until the council meets next, in March next year......
It appeared that the Palestinian leadership was reluctant to lose the chance to return to peace negotiations with Israel and unwilling to try other steps to put pressure on Israel such as international legal action.
Robert Blecher, an analyst with the International Crisis Group, said a similar decision had been taken last week when the Palestinians agreed to meet the Israelis in New York despite Israel's decision not to accept their call for a full halt to settlement construction.
"This is a further indication that the current Palestinian leadership is not considering any options except for negotiation and in that sense the climbdown, like the climbdown in the meeting in New York city, is not unexpected – just the speed with which it was taken," he said....."