The UN Human Rights Council is set to vote on a report into the Israeli offensive in Gaza last year.
The Goldstone report accuses both Hamas and Israel of war crimes, but lays greater blame on the Jewish state. It calls for both to investigate or face prosecution. UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay said: “I also wish to underscore the necessity for all parties to carry out impartial, independent, prompt, and effective investigations into reported violations of human rights and humanitarian law in compliance with international standards.” Britain and other European Union countries are poised to abstain from the vote. Visiting the region before his country assumes the EU Presidency next year, Spain’s Prime Minister refused to be drawn on the issue. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said: “Respecting human rights should be essential, but let’s leave the report to the Human Rights Council to decide,” he said. Israel has threatened to withdraw from the peace process if the Council endorses the report. Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor said: “If the Goldstone report is adopted, this will present a clear danger to the continuation of the peace process.” While the US has vowed to vote against the resolution endorsing the report, it looks set to pass. There is no state in the council holding veto power and a majority seem to support the report.