The UN General Assembly sets a date for debating Israeli war crimes in Gaza, paving the way for a possible Security Council inquiry into the issue.
An Arab League diplomat said on Monday that Richard Goldstone's UN report on the conflict in Gaza would be discussed at the Assembly on November 4th with the aim of passing a resolution approving the report and then requesting a formal debate at the Security Council, which has the power to open a war crimes prosecution against senior Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court.
The US --Israel's staunchest ally-- however, is expected to veto any call for ICC action against Israeli officials. Washington has vetoed several anti-Israeli revolutions.
The UN General Assembly's decision to debate Israeli war crimes during Gaza war came after the UN Human Rights Council endorsed the report, which accuses the Israeli army of deliberately killing Palestinian civilians and using disproportionate force during the three-week Gaza war, despite efforts by Israeli officials to block the motion.
The report calls for the prosecution of senior Israeli officials in the International Criminal Court at The Hague if Tel Aviv fails to launch its own investigations into the Gaza war under international scrutiny within six months. Tel Aviv has condemned the report, claiming it was one-sided and biased against Israel.
According to UN figures, more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly women and children, were killed and many others wounded during Israel's "Operation Cast Lead" in which internationally banned white phosphorous bombs were used by Israeli forces.