UN rights body backs call for accountability over alleged war crimes in Gaza conflict

The UN’s top human rights body backed calls Friday for accountability in last year’s conflict in Gaza, in which hundreds of Palestinian civilians and six Israeli civilians were killed.

BERLIN — The U.N.’s top human rights body backed calls Friday for accountability in last year’s conflict in Gaza, in which hundreds of Palestinian civilians and six Israeli civilians were killed.

The decision by the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council has no binding effect, but adds to pressure for war crimes prosecutions before the International Criminal Court.

Israel condemned the move, saying it was one-sided and ignored the fact that Israel is conducting its own investigations into possible wrongdoing.

Forty-one of the council’s 47 members voted in favour of the resolution, which cited a recent U.N. report concluding that both Israel and Palestinian militant groups may have committed grave crimes during the conflict.

Five countries abstained while the United States voted against the text, saying it was biased against Israel. European countries backed the resolution, but said they were disappointed it didn’t explicitly mention rockets fired by Palestinian militant group Hamas – which controls Gaza – toward civilian areas in Israel.

More than 2,200 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, were killed during the fighting, according to U.N. and Palestinian officials, while 73 people, including six civilians, died on the Israeli side.

The resolution stressed that all those responsible for human rights violations must be held to account and effective remedies should be given to all victims, including reparations.

Israel has strongly resisted allegations its troops violated international law, claims that could have serious implications after Palestinians joined the International Criminal Court, where they are pursuing war crimes charges against Israel.

“The U.N. Human Rights Council is not interested in the facts and is not really interested in human rights,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the council’s decision.

He added that Israel will continue to defend its citizens against “those who call for its destruction and take daily action to achieve this goal.”

Palestinian U.N. envoy Ibrahim Khraishi welcomed the resolution.

“I think those who oppose this resolution or those who abstain from the vote will be contributing to ongoing violations and abuses against civilians,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Government announces 79 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 2 in Red Deer

There are 79 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alberta, bringing the provincial… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Red Deer hospital bracing for COVID-19 impact

“We’re all worried about what’s coming, but I think we feel confident”

WATCH: COVID-19 doesn’t stop Red Deer Public Library from telling stories

Deb Isbister has been reading stories to children for more than 20… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

I am still facing that existential angst

Stir crazy. I looked the phrase up, just for fun. “Restless or… Continue reading

Red Deer College adapting and adjusting to COVID-19

I have worked in post-secondary education for more than 30 years, and… Continue reading

Families urge action to get Canadians home from cruise ship stuck off Panama

1,243 passengers and 586 crew on board and more tests are being done every day

Saskatchewan cabinet Minister deletes ‘pray and repent’ tweet over COVID-19

REGINA — A Saskatchewan cabinet minister who tweeted an Old Testament passage… Continue reading

Ontario allows youth to remain in care after passing cut-off age during pandemic

TORONTO — Youth in Ontario’s child welfare system who pass the cut-off… Continue reading

Canada could face legal trouble over refugee deportations: advocates

Deputy Prime Minister Freeland holding ‘urgent’ discussions with U.S. officials

Most Read