U.N. Human Rights Council slams Israel for Gaza war


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The United Nations Human Rights Council voted to adopt a report on last summer’s Israel-Gaza conflict.

The resolution to adopt the report passed Friday by a vote of 41-1, with five abstentions. Only the United States voted against the resolution; Israel is not a member of the council.

India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Macedonia abstained. India has traditionally voted for anti-Israel resolutions. The resolution also was adopted with the support of 41 European Union member states who are members of the council, including France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

While the report accused both Israel and the Palestinians of possible war crimes, its findings focused more on what it considered Israeli wrongdoing in its operation known as Protective Edge.

The resolution drafted by the Arab states, which calls for the implementation of the report and its recommendations, ignores the criticism of the Palestinians and does not mention rockets launched by Hamas from Gaza on Israel. It also calls for Israeli officials to be held responsible for alleged war crimes.

Among dozens of recommendations, the report called on Israel to hold its soldiers and officers accountable for the breaches of international law during the conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the council following the vote.

“The UN Human Rights Council is not interested in the facts and is not really interested in human rights,” Netanyahu said. “On the day on which Israel was fired at from Sinai, and at a time when ISIS is committing vicious terrorist attacks in Egypt, as Assad slaughters his people in Syria and as the number of arbitrary executions per annum climbs in Iran – the UN Human Rights Council decides to condemn the State of Israel for no fault of its own, for acting to defend itself from a murderous terrorist organization.

“The council that has hitherto adopted more decisions against Israel than against all other countries cannot call itself a human rights council.”

Israel and the United States boycotted the Human Rights Council session that discussed the report, which focused more on Israel’s role in the conflict and accepted Palestinian casualty figures. Israel did not cooperate in the investigation, saying the commission was biased against Israel.

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