Human Rights Council condemns Israeli war crimes

PNN/Bethlehem/

The Human Rights Council of the United Nations decided on Friday to adopt a resolution condemning Israel for its assault on Gaza.

41 countries voted in favor and only one country voted against- the United States.

India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Macedonia all abstained.

Foreign Minister Dr. Riyad al-Maliki welcomed the decision of the Human Rights Council to adopt the resolution submitted under the title ‘Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem’. The 29th Session of the Council was held today in Geneva, where member states overwhelmingly voted to adopt the resolution (41 out of a total of 47 states), five abstained and only one voted against.

Al-Maliki thanked the member states for their role in the adoption of the resolution, which reflects the commitment of the international community for the protection of the Palestinian people. He said that the states which formed the majority showed moral gravity concordant with the principles of international law. The adoption of the resolution reaffirmed that Israel must be held accountable for war crimes and that justice must be upheld for violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), including East Jerusalem. He pointed out that the positive vote on this resolution was a strong reminder of Israel’s obligation to commit to international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as well as to address issues fueling the conflict, such as the lack of Palestinian self-determination, the strict blockade on the Gaza Strip, the expansion of Israeli settlements (illegal under international law), and its refusal to implement the ICC’s resolution concerning the separation wall.

The resolution called on all concerned parties and EU organisations to implement the recommendations contained in the Council’s report, and called for the commitment of all represented states in the upholding of human rights. It called for the cooperation of all Israeli contractors to respect the 4th Geneva Convention and to respect international human rights law in the oPt, in accordance with Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions.

It requested that the High Commissioner submit a report on the implementation of this resolution, as well as the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report made by the Independent Commission of Inquiry of the United Nations to the Human Rights Council at its eleventh session.

Al-Maliki reiterated Palestine’s commitment and agreement with the resolution.

The report pointed out that the targeting of civilians, and direct aggression against them, and against civilian sites, shelters, hospitals and protected places and the accompanying violation of the right to life is tantamount to a war crime, indicating that the settlements, and settler violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem form the basis of violations against Palestinian human rights.

Al-Malaki said:

“The highest Israeli political and military levels are involved in war crimes- crimes against humanity, namely Israel’s decision to assault Gaza and allow the targeting of civilians and the killing of children, in addition to the continuation of illegal settlement expansion.”

All United Nations bodies and institutions and the international community called for the implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the resolution, the protection of the Palestinian people, and to ensure the right to a remedy and accountability.  Finally, the resolution demanded that the international community enable Palestine to exercise its right to self-determination and the embodiment of an independent state, the State of Palestine with its capital in East Jerusalem.

He said:

“The state of Palestine’s quest for justice, the accountability of Israeli war criminals, and victory for the victims of our people, through the institutions of the international community and international law, is a step towards ending the occupation, and the achievement of independence.”