The United Nations’ Human Rights Council passed a resolution against Israel’s current military incursion in the Gaza Strip. Thursday’s resolution by the new council condemns Israel’s actions and asks for an immediate halt to “imposing collective punishment on the Palestinian civilians.” The bill passed 29-11, with five abstentions. It makes no mention of Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit, kidnapped late last month from a base inside Israel by militants who also killed two Israeli soldiers, precipitating Israel’s invasion. “It is absolutely unacceptable” that the resolution singles out just one side, Itzhak Levanon, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told The Associated Press. The resolution recommends that the council dispatch a fact-finding mission to report on alleged Israeli human rights violations, and calls for the release of Palestinian prisoners. The resolution was initiated by Arab countries, who asked for a special emergency session on the subject. Reformers who had hoped the new council would avoid its predecessor’s obsession with Israel were disappointed. The World Jewish Congress said in a statement that the council had abdicated “all moral legitimacy” and “any premise of professional effectiveness.”
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