Britain to Oppose UN's Agenda on Israel's Human Rights Abuses in Palestine


The resolution comes after a three-person team of investigators commissioned by the council late last month issued an extensive report on violence during a string of Palestinian protests along Gaza's border fence with Israel, which started almost a year ago.

The resolution was based on a UN Independent Commission of Inquiry report that found that Israeli forces had committed violations of global human rights and humanitarian law that "may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity" in killing 189 Palestinians and injuring thousands between March 30 and December 31, 2018.

On Friday, Israeli forces killed two people and wounded 55 others taking part in the weekly protests along the fortified border, the Palestinian health ministry said. The vote was 23 states in favor, eight against, with 15 abstentions and one delegation absent.

Palestinian demonstrators "did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot, nor were they directly participating in hostilities", according to the panel's report, citing confidential information about those responsible for the killings.

The Israeli bullets and tear gas canisters wounded 181 Palestinian civilians, including 53 Children, 5 Women, 1 Paramedic, and 3 Journalists.

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Israeli Ambassador Aviva Raz Shechter denounced what she called "clear evidence of political bias against Israel" in the report.

In Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, chief of the Islamist group Hamas which runs the enclave, urged Palestinians to attend mass rallies on Saturday to mark one year since protests began.

Britain, Italy, Japan and India were among the abstainers. "The report ignored the publicly stated objective of the events - to storm and breach Israel's border - and does not give any consideration to the possibility that a mob which includes Hamas militants would storm and attack the 70000 Israeli civilians living in towns and communities adjacent to the Gaza border".

Israel called the resolution hypocritical and said it intends to cooperate with UNHCR. "Our decision to abstain reflects this balance".

The United States does not participate, having quit the body a year ago over perceived anti-Israel bias.