The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favour of endorsing the Goldstone Report.
In total, 114 states voted to adopt the report and 18 objected. Britain was one of the 44 states which abstained.
The Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies had previously written to the Foreign Secretary David Miliband, stating that anything less than a “no” vote from Britain would be unacceptable.
Israel and the US voted against the decision, as did Germany, Holland, Canada and Australia. Most of the other EU states, including France, abstained.
The resolution will mean the Goldstone Report, which found both Hamas and Israel guilty of war crimes, now passes to the UN Security Council. Both Israel and the Palestinians have been given three months to conduct their own “reliable and independent” inquiries into Operation Cast Lead.
It's not a trivial thing that 18 countries, including those from the first line of the Western democratic world, would vote against the resolution. Avigdor Lieberman
America is expected to veto the resolution going any further than the Security Council, even though many Arab states are expected to push for war crimes trials at the International Court in the Hague.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon confirmed that the US and Israel have a “silent agreement” over a veto.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: "On the whole, we are pleased with the outcome. We are satisfied with the fact that 18 countries, which are a moral majority, supported Israel's stance and 44 abstained and did not vote with the automatic majority.
"It's not a trivial thing that 18 countries, including those from the first line of the Western democratic world, would vote against the resolution.
"The automatic majority of countries like Saudi Arabia and Somalia at the UN is unfortunately a given situation. These are not countries which will teach us about morals. They will not teach us the values of warfare. Once again it has been proven that the UN is not an arena we can fight in."
THE COUNTRIES WHO OPPOSED THE RESOLUTION
● Czech Republic
● Marshall Islands
● United States