Abbas Blamed For Goldstone Vote Delay

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The Palestinians missed a rare chance by delaying a vote on the Goldstone report which accuses Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza, a senior Qatari foreign ministry official has said.

Sheikh Khaled bin Jassem al-Thani, the ministry's human rights department head, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that the Palestinian representative to the UN Human Rights Council had requested a delay until the next meeting in March.

"We won't be more royal than the king," he said.

"The Palestinian decision was based on their wishes ... and member states could not take unilateral measures contrary to the wishes of the Palestinian Authority (PA)."

"There were many countries that supported [the report and a vote] ... it could have been adopted, but I think that an opportunity was missed and it may not come back."

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, under pressure from the PA's executive council and the central committee of his Fatah party, has launched an investigation into the delay.

But there appears to be no respite for him from the barrage of criticism from Palestinians.

Read the whole story at Al Jazeera.