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Netanyahu blasts UN right council's probe as 'shameful'

The UN Human Rights Council voted on Thursday to establish a “Commission of Inquiry” to investigate rights violations in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a memorial ceremony for the fallen of the Altalena at the Nachalat Yitzhak cemetery in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, on May 26, 2021.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday denounced a UN Human Rights Council resolution to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian law committed during the 11-day conflict between Hamas and Israel. 

By a vote of 24-9, with 14 abstentions, the council on Thursday adopted a resolution to establish a standing Commission of Inquiry to monitor and document violations in the Palestinian territories and in Israel. The resolution spearheaded by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Palestinian delegation also calls for the commission to probe “all underlying root causes” of the violence, including “systematic discrimination and repression.” 

On Twitter, Netanyahu blasted the vote as “yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council's blatant anti-Israel obsession.”

“Once again, an immoral automatic majority at the council whitewashes a genocidal terrorist organization that deliberately targets Israeli civilians while turning Gaza's civilians into human shields,” he said. 

Before an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire took effect May 21, more than 250 people died in the fighting between Israel and the Gaza-based militant group. Most of those killed were Palestinians hit by Israeli airstrikes in densely populated civilian areas.  

Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, dismissed the human rights body’s move Thursday as an “appalling, one-sided anti-Semitic resolution has effectively predetermined the results of the so-called investigation.”

In a statement, the Palestinian Authority said the resolution demonstrated “international recognition of Israel’s systemic oppression and discrimination against the Palestinian people.” 

The United States, which has observer status at the UN Human Rights Council, said in a statement that "the action today instead threatens to imperil the progress that has been made.” 

Earlier Thursday, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned that Israel’s bombing campaign against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip may amount to war crimes “if found to be indiscriminate and disproportionate in their impact on civilians and civilian objects.”

After the conflict erupted earlier this month, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor said her office was monitoring the situation for war crimes. In March, the Hague-based tribunal announced it was opening an investigation into potential war crimes that had occurred in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza since June 2014. The 2014 Gaza War took place during July and August of that year.

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