Egyptian foreign minister says signing of unity pact could be delayed until November.
Hamas decries PA leadership
The October 2 postponement in endorsing the UN-sponsored report, listing Israeli and Hamas war crimes during Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip last winter, has angered a majority of Palestinians.
An endorsement of the report would have facilitated the eventual prosecution of Israeli officials responsible for the war crimes.
The vote would have been one of many steps to bring Israeli officials before a war crimes tribunal, something many Palestinians want to see.
Abbas’ speech on Gaza war report raises more questions than answers
About 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died as a result of the 22-day conflict between last December and January.
Abbas said that there had not been significant enough support for the resolution at the UN Human Rights Council: “The draft resolution was either totally rejected, partially rejected or some countries expressed their reservations.
“We wanted to reach mechanisms that would ensure the implimentation of the decision and punish the perpertrators of crimes against our people.
“We have been lobbying and pushing for the issuance of a draft resolution that will be submitted to the UNHCR [the UN Refugee Agency] through some friendly countries … in order to gather greater support for this resolution.
“We have …. held numerous contacts in order to gather the greatest level of support from African groups, Arab groups, Islamic groups, as well as the non-alligned movement and other countries.
“We wanted to ensure an international environment that would provide a better environment to protect our people.”
Abbas said that Hamas’s criticism of the postponement was aimed at bolstering its own position.
“This campaign of Hamas aims to serve their interests which is to postpone the signing of the reconciliation deal,” Abbas said, referring to efforts to bring about unity between his own Fatah group and Hamas.
“They want to consecrate their rule and regime in Gaza. They want to ensure the continuity of the division. They aim at weakening the national Palestinian Authority.”
Commenting on Abbas’s speech, Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, said it was partisan.
“If someone was expecting an apology or an explanation of a mistake we certainly haven’t heard it today.
“He spoke more as the head of the Fatah faction than the president of all the Palestinian people.
“In the sense that he locked himself in, in aggressive tones with Hamas leaders rather than come as the great reconciliator … and that is not good politics for a Palestinian president.”
Aymen Moheldyn, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Gaza, said many Palestinians would find Abbas’s speech “very disturbing”.
“It was a very disturbing tone for those hoping for national reconciliation. There is certainly no love lost between the two factions [Hamas and Fatah],” he said.