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October 21, 2014
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Current Concerns  >  2006  >  No 7, 2006  >  “Substantial Violations of Human Rights by Israel” [printversion]

“Substantial Violations of Human Rights by Israel”

Distinct Condemnation by the Human Rights Council - European negative votes and abstentions from voting are embarrassing

cc. For the third time since establishing the Human Rights Council in June 2006 Israel was condemned because of massive violations of Humanitarian International Law. On 15 November the third special session of this committee was convened by the Union of the African States and the Organization of Arab States as well as further UN members, after the Israeli army had launched heavy attacks on Beit Hanoun (Gaza Strip) in the period 
2–8 November. During that time in the northern Gaza Strip and the remaining occupied territories over 86 people were killed, including 56 civilians, among them 16 children and 10 women. Since June 2006, 280 Palestinians have been killed, 60 of them were children. On 8 November the Israeli army bombarded a residential area in Beit Hanoun, killing 18 civilians, among them 7 children and 4 women. The resolution introduced by the states mentioned above was tightened up during the session and was carried in the final vote with 32 yes to 8 no votes and 6 abstentions. Germany, Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Canada and Holland voted no. France, Switzerland, Guatemala, Japan, South Korea and the Ukraine abstained.

The resolution reaffirms the compliance with the Geneva Convention and calls for the protection of the civilian population in the occupied territories. This urgent session of the Human Rights Council must also be understood as an answer to the American veto in the UN Security Council two weeks before, which again prevented a condemnation of the Israeli aggression. Qatar was the only Arab state that brought in the resolution at the UN Security Council and it was supported by 10 member states. Had it been accepted, the installation of a board of inquiry would have been the consequence, examining the violations of human rights in Beit Hanoun. By the clear acceptance of the resolution in the Human Rights Council the president of the Human Rights Council is now charged with setting up a commission that will examine the incidents in Palestine. Louise Arbor, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, assured the members of a visit to the Gaza Strip.

The American expert on international law and former high-ranking official with the UN, professor Alfred de Zayas, assessed the voting result in the Human Rights Council in an interview with “Current Concerns” immediately after the meeting.

The Human Rights Council Meets Again Because the Security Council Failed
Interview with Prof. Dr. iur. et phil. Alfred de Zayas, Geneva

Human Rights Council Resolution