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UN Human Rights Council approves int’l probe into Israeli crimes in Gaza

Muslim Times(Web Desk) -The UN’s top human rights body has voted in favor of a resolution calling for “urgently” sending an independent commission to investigate Israeli deadly attacks on peaceful Palestinian protesters.

The UN Human Rights Council voted Friday to “urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry” — the council’s highest-level of investigation — to probe the killing of Gaza protesters by Israeli troops.

The resolution was adopted by 29 votes. Only two of the council’s 47 members, the United States and Australia, voting against it, while 14 abstained, including Britain, Switzerland and Germany.

The text said the team of international war crimes investigators should “investigate all alleged violations and abuses… in the context of the military assaults on large scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018, … including those that may amount to war crimes.”

The special UN session comes after more than 100 Gazan have been killed by Israeli snipers in six weeks of protests dubbed the “Great March of Return”, which began on March 30 and climaxed on May 15, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), when Israel was created.

Tens of thousands of people have been protesting along the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied territories, calling for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to be allowed to return to their homes now inside Israel. Israeli forces killed at least 62 Gazans in a single day of protests that coincided with Monday’s move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

Earlier on Friday, the UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, opened the special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, saying Israel has systematically deprived Palestinians of their human rights, with 1.9 million in Gaza “caged in a toxic slum from birth to death.”

The official backed calls for an international probe into Israel’s deadly reaction to protests along the Gaza fence which he described “wholly disproportionate.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki welcomed the Friday’s resolution.

“The Human Rights Council’s formation of an international committee of investigation is a step towards doing justice to the Palestinian people,” he said in a statement, calling for speedy implementation “to stop Israeli war crimes”.

Meanwhile, Tel Aviv’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Aviva Raz Shechter, criticized the resolution as a “shameful” and “biased”.

US representative Theodore Allegra also echoed Raz Shechter’s remarks, condemning the council’s “biased focus on Israel”.

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