U.N. Rights Council: End Gaza blockade


NEW YORK (JTA) — The U.N. Human Rights Council called on Israel to end its blockade of Gaza and release Palestinian prisoners.

The two recommendations by the Geneva-based council, which has been condemned in some corners as woefully anti-Israel, was among a list of 99 adopted at the end of a two-day review of the Jewish state’s record, Reuters reported.

During the review Richard Falk, the council’s special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian-populated territories, said Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip was a “crime against humanity” and should be investigated by the International Criminal Court.

The United States did not take the floor during the review. The Bush administration suspended its participation in the council last June, citing its "rather pathetic record,” according to Reuters.

In response to the recommendations, Israel’s U.N. ambassador in Geneva, Aharon Leshno Yaar, said Israel “remains committed to reinforcing areas in which we are succeeding and bettering those areas that need improvement.”

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