UN rights council adopts resolutions criticizing Israel

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] on Wednesday passed three resolutions [press release] critical of Israeli practices towards Syrian and Palestinian territories. The resolutions were adopted [Haaretz report] during the 13th session of the UNHRC [materials] held in Geneva. One resolution titled "The grave human rights violations by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem" passed by a vote of 31 to 9 and made specific demands on Israel including:

... that the occupying Power, Israel, end its occupation of the Palestinian land occupied since 1967, and that it respect its commitments within the peace process towards the establishment of the independent sovereign Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace and security with all its neighbours;

... that the occupying Power, Israel, stop the targeting of civilians and the systematic destruction of the cultural heritage of the Palestinian people, in addition to the destruction of public and private properties, as laid down in the Fourth Geneva Convention

... that Israel, the occupying Power, respect the religious and cultural rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly in occupied East Jerusalem, as provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the core international human rights instruments, the Hague Conventions and the Geneva Conventions, and that it allow Palestinian citizens and worshippers unhindered access to their properties and religious sites therein
The other resolutions were critical of new and established Israeli settlements [draft text, DOC] in East Jerusalem, the Occupied Palestinian territories, and Golan and Israeli treatment of the Syrian people in Golan. A resolution supporting the Palestinian people's right to self-determination was also passed [Jerusalem Post report]. Additionally, the UNHRC is expected to approve another resolution Thursday calling for Israel to compensate Palestinians who were injured during last year's Operation Cast Lead [GlobalSecurity backgrounder].

Israel has denounced the actions of the UNHRC many times in recent years. In October, the Israeli government rejected [JURIST report] a UNHRC resolution [text, PDF; JURIST report] endorsing the final report [JURIST report] of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict [official website]. The Israeli Foreign Ministry called the resolution "one-sided" and called on the international community to join Israel in rejecting it. In November 2008, an Israeli representative to the UN accused [JURIST report] the UNHRC of "targeting Israel in an obsessive and discriminatory fashion" and "fail[ing] to uphold the basic standards of human rights in an impartial, universal, non-selective, and objective manner." In April 2008, Israel announced [JURIST report] that it would no longer allow a UNHRC envoy on Israeli human rights to enter either Israel or the Palestinian territories after he called current Israeli actions against Palestinians a "Holocaust in the making."


 

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