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The UN General Assembly will discuss in early November a damning report on Israel's winter offensive against Hamas in Gaza, an Arab diplomat told AFP on Monday.

"The Arab group is requesting that the report... be debated in the General Assembly in early November," the French news agency quoted Arab League representative Yahya Mahmassani as saying.

Mahmassani, who was conveying the request in a letter to Assembly president Ali Triki, told AFP that discussions would now go ahead "probably on November 4."

Diplomats say the move is only the "opening shot" in the battle over the diplomatic controversial document.

A source told Haaretz on Monday that no one had any doubt that the report would reach the General Assembly, and that it would have been surprising if the report had not in fact reached the body.

The UN report, which was authored by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, accused both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes during the winter offensive, but focused mainly on alleged Israeli offences.