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The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution calling for an arms ban on Israel. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

This is the first time the UN’s top human rights body has taken a position on Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza since October 7.

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted on Friday a resolution calling for Israel to be held accountable for possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Gaza Strip.

The strongly worded text also called on countries to cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms to Israel, amid “plausible risk of genocide”.

Twenty-eight countries, including China, Chile, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, voted in favor of the resolution. 

13 abstained, including France, India, and Japan.

Six countries, including Germany and the United States, voted against the resolution.

What Does the Resolution Call for?

Resolution  A/HRC/55/L.30, which was brought forward by Pakistan on behalf of all Organization of Islamic Cooperation member states, except Albania, emphasized “the need to ensure accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in order to end impunity”.

It also called for “an immediate ceasefire” and “for immediate emergency humanitarian access and assistance”.

The resolution expressed “grave concern at reports of serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law, including of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”.

Additionally, the resolution called on countries to “cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel”.

This is the first time the UN’s top human rights body has taken a position on Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

Israel: ‘A Vote for Hamas’

Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, accused the council of having “long abandoned the Israeli people and long defended Hamas”.

“According to the resolution before you today, Israel has no right to protect its people, while Hamas has every right to murder and torture innocent Israelis,” she said ahead of the vote.

“A vote (of) ‘yes’ is a vote for Hamas.”

Before the vote, the United States vowed to vote against the resolution, because it did not include condemnation of the military operation carried out by the Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas on October 7.

However, US permanent representative to the Council, Michèle Taylor said that “far too many civilians have been killed in this conflict”, and acknowledged that “Israel has not done enough to mitigate civilian harm”.

For his part, Palestinian Ambassador Ibrahim Mohammad Khraishi told the council before the vote: “We need you all to wake up and stop this genocide, a genocide televised around the world.”

How Did Countries Vote?

Countries who voted yes: 

  • Algeria
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Chile
  • China
  • Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  • Cuba
  • Eritrea
  • Finland
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Honduras
  • Indonesia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Morocco
  • Qatar
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sudan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Vietnam

Countries who voted no:

  • Argentina
  • Bulgaria
  • Germany
  • Malawi
  • Paraguay
  • United States

Countries who abstained:

  • Albania
  • Bulgaria
  • Cameroon
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • France
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Japan
  • Lithuania
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Romania

What is the Human Rights Council?

The Geneva-based Human Rights Council is the main intergovernmental body within the United Nations responsible for human rights.

 Its mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world. 

The Council has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis.

Its resolutions are not legally binding but contain strong political commitments. 

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 33,091 Palestinians have been killed, and 75,750 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba. 

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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