GENEVA — From the latest fighting in the Gaza Strip. The UN’s top human rights body voted on Thursday to appoint an unusually wide-latitude investigative committee. to investigate potential war crimes and other violations Occurring in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories Israel condemned this decision as a unilateral deception.
It is the third time in seven years that the Human Rights Council in Geneva has decided to name the panel. But this faculty differs in two important things:
Being “continuous” means that the committee is able to conduct investigations indefinitely. That puts a level of resilience similar to investigative agencies that record atrocities in Syria and Myanmar.
And the commission isn’t limited to looking at the fighting in Gaza and the West Bank. but was charged with the investigation. “All the underlying causes of recurring tensions insecurity and the prolongation of the conflict This includes systematic discrimination and oppression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.”
Although the committee theoretically investigates human rights violations by all parties. But the resolution made no mention of Hamas or other Palestinian armed groups. Critics who disagreed with the resolution said it lacked balance.
47 members of the House of Representatives voted 24 to 9 in favor, 14 abstained.
Pakistan’s UN ambassador, Khalil Hashmi, who presents a committee on behalf of the Organization of Islamic State, said Israel needs to be held accountable for what he calls decades of human rights abuses in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
Israel quickly condemned what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is called He has been criticized for not taking action against Hamas. Palestinian militants who fire rockets at Israel during the 11 days of fighting stopped last week.
“Again,” he said, “the immoral majority in the House of Commons has devastated genocide terrorist organizations that deliberately target Israeli civilians. while turning the civilians of the Gaza Strip into human shields.”
In a speech to the council on Thursday, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet accused the Hamas group of “It is a clear violation of international humanitarian law” for arbitrary rocket launches in Israeli civilian areas. and for the acquisition of military assets in civilian areas in the Gaza Strip.
But Israel’s violent bombing in densely populated areas could also be a war crime, Bachelet said, “despite Israel’s claim that many of the buildings were homes for armed groups or were used for military purposes.” She said, “We see no evidence of this.”
The decision to form the committee was supported by states such as China, Russia and Venezuela. which is among the worst human rights violations in the world. They usually oppose resolutions that separate certain countries for human rights violations.
But the European states It has supported the creation of dozens of investigative commissions over the past five years, hesitating on the matter. They eventually voted against or abstain.
Britain’s ambassador, Simon Manley, said the commission had received “Too broad mandate” and risk a hardened position between adversaries.
The United States is not a member of the Council of Rights. and US officials chose not to speak during the council debates. But after the vote, the US condemned the decision. by calling such a decision It is a “distraction” that does not trigger humanitarian and diplomatic efforts but “threatens the progress made in recent weeks.
Ms Bachelet linked the latest eruption in the conflict with the latest threats from the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem and Israeli police actions at the holy city’s Aqsa Mosque, the third most sacred site. in islam She also condemned what she called excessive force in the West Bank.
Since May 10, 27 Palestinians have been killed and 6,800 others wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank, UN rights expert Michael Link, who monitors the occupied Palestinian region, told Reuters. The council “responsibility must rise to the top of this international and its agenda,” he said, calling for an investigation by the International Criminal Court.
Miraf Eilon Shahar, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva reject any comparison between the actions of Hamas and the actions of Israel as being of equality.
Eilon Shahar quoted Hamas leaders three days before the start of the fighting urging followers to She said Hamas had fired 4,400 rockets from Palestinian homes, hospitals and schools. indiscriminately targeting Israeli civilians
“Each of these rockets is a war crime,” she said.
Thursday’s council decision requires the commission to document and preserve evidence so it can be used in legal proceedings. to identify personal responsibility including the responsibility of ordering and to tell how they can be held accountable
Human rights activists welcomed the new investigation.
“What we can say is sadly We will stay here again until the Human Rights Council addresses the root cause,” said John Fisher, director of Human Rights Watch in Geneva. It released a report last month confirming Israel’s policies towards Palestinians. It’s a form of apartheid.
Mr Fisher said “There is a need for a permanent investigative committee that can deal with the causes of oppression. persecution and true apartheid
Israel has refused to cooperate with previous investigations into events in the Gaza Strip and occupied Palestinian territories. And there’s nothing to suggest a different approach.
Still, the commission’s open order and the broader scope of the investigation could increase pressure on Israel at a time when Palestinian rights seem to attract broad sympathy. This includes in the United States. Israel’s Strongest Allies