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Thursday, July 06, 2006

UN 'Human Rights Council' calls on Israel to halt Gaza operation

We must be winning in Gaza - the UN is starting to act.

The UN 'Human Rights Council' decided today to send a 'fact-finding mission' to the 'Palestinian territories' to report back urgently on alleged rights violations by Israel. Since the 'Council' starts with the assumption that those 'rights violations' exist, it has already called for Israel demanded that Israel stop its Gaza operation.

In a resolution on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, adopted by a vote of 29 in favour, 11 against and five abstentions, the Council demanded that Israel end its military operations in the occupied Palestinian territory; expressed grave concern at the detrimental impact of the current Israeli military operation on the already deteriorating humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian people; urged Israel to immediately release the arrested Palestinian ministers, and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council; and decided to dispatch an urgent fact-finding mission headed by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory.

A vote had also been called on an amendment by Pakistan to proposed Swiss amendments to the draft resolution. The Pakistani amendment was approved by a vote of 28 to 0, with 17 abstentions. By that amendment, the Human Rights Council urged all concerned parties to respect the rules of international humanitarian law, to refrain from violence against the civilian population and to treat under all circumstances all detained combatants and civilians in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
But we actually did better than I would have expected:
Canada said that it was its view that the new Council should deal with such a controversial matter by consensus and so it would abstain. Switzerland also abstained, as it felt that the draft resolution was not balanced. It was not that the parties to the conflict had to be treated on an equal footing, but that both parties should be reminded of their obligations, Switzerland felt. Many speakers pointed to the issue of balance in focusing on the obligations of both parties to the conflict, but there remained a sharp division among countries on whether the text was acceptable or not. Finland, speaking for the European Union, regretted that the text did not treat the parties in a more balanced manner, in particular, by calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the Israeli soldier, and calling on the Palestinian leadership to cease its Qassam rocket fire on Israeli territory. Others, such as Ecuador, regretted that a more balanced text could not have been presented, but felt that situations of dire human rights violations, such as were present in the occupied Palestinian territory today, required urgent action by the Council. Still others, such as Cuba, felt that the draft resolution, as amended, presented a more balanced text, and one that was more in keeping with the language of the Geneva Conventions than in the Swiss proposal.
The Europeans are becoming our friends? The Messiah must be coming!
The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (29) Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uruguay, and Zambia.

Against (11): Germany, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom and Ukraine.

Abstentions (5): Cameroon, Mexico, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, and Switzerland.


At 7:56 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...


IIRC, wasn't it you that said in the first place that the U.N. would act only when they saw that Israel was winning?

The mistake on the East River is literally falling apart, and requires major reconstruction at a cost that is in the stratosphere. Wrecking balls, anyone? If the U.N. were a country instead of a country club for third world delegates, then it would be officially named as an enemy of Israel.


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