Both Fatah and Hamas officials lauded the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva for endorsing the Goldstone Commission Report on Friday, and expressed hope that the decision would send the document on to more powerful UN bodies in New York for action.
The Palestinians, through Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Tunisia, had submitted the resolution to the council, which called for an endorsement of the Goldstone report that accuses Israel of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during Operation Cast Lead.
The resolution, which passed 25-6, also condemned Israeli human rights violations in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
Following the vote, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas expressed hope that the resolution would "give impetus to the protection of the Palestinians from Israeli attacks."
"What is important now is to translate words into deeds in order to protect our people in the future from any new aggression," said Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh in Ramallah.
Ibrahim Khraishi, PA ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said that "the clock on the report starts now," adding that he hoped the Security Council in New York would take up the report.
In the Gaza Strip, the Hamas government expressed hope that "the vote on the report will serve as the basis for prosecuting Israeli war criminals."
Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu called the report's endorsement "a victory for the Palestinian victims."
Moussa Abu Marzuk, a top Damascus-based Hamas leader, thanked the UN Human Rights Council for endorsing the Goldstone report on Operation Cast Lead, and said the resolution adopted on Friday benefits all the Palestinian people.
"We thank all the states that led to the report's endorsement, a move that benefits all the Palestinian people. Hamas approves of the international stance regarding the report, while some Palestinians are trying to let Israel off the hook," Abu Marzuk said, in what appeared to be implicit criticism of the Palestinian Authority for agreeing to defer until March the council's vote on endorsing the report.
"The report acquits Hamas almost entirely, as it mentions armed Palestinian groups launching rockets but refrains from naming Hamas specifically," Marzuk said.
Although the Goldstone report also accuses Hamas of war crimes, the five-page resolution explicitly mentions only Israeli violations of international law.
AP contributed to this report