The United Nations General Assembly formally voted to adopt the Goldstone Report on Thursday by a vote of 114-18, with 44 abstentions. Those voting against the resolution included Israel and the United States, as well as Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic. However, the European Union vote was split, with Britain and France both choosing to abstain.
The Arab-sponsored resolution adopted by the 192-member body calls for action by the U.N. Security Council if the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority do not within the next three months carry out "independent and credible" investigations into their own behavior during last winter's Operation Cast Lead.
The Goldstone Report harshly condemned Israel, accusing the Jewish State of committing war crimes and "possibly crimes against humanity" in Gaza during the course of the counterterrorist operation launched to put an end to eight years' of constant rocket fire aimed at southern Israeli communities from Gaza. The report also said that "armed militants" in Gaza may also have been guilty of committing war crimes as well.
The Hamas terrorist organization that seized control of the Gaza region in 2007, and which has been responsible for the constant rocket fire against Israel that sparked the conflict, is not mentioned in the resolution, which refers to the responsibility of the "Palestinian side" to investigate its own role in the war.
The report now goes to the U.N. Security Council, where the United States is expected to exercise its veto power to stymie any attempt to advance the report any further. The Arab bloc is hoping to push the report through a vote in the Security Council, which would allow it to be advanced to the International Criminal Court at The Hague for use as evidence in a war crimes trial against Israel and Israeli officials.