The UN Human Rights Council urged Tel Aviv on Wednesday to pay reparations to the Palestinian people for the loss and damage it inflicted on them during last year’s bloody invasion of the Gaza Strip.
Pakistan tabled the motion, which also suggested that the Red Cross should investigate Israel’s use of incendiary white phosphorus weapons during Operation Cast Lead.
It passed by a majority of 29 to five at the UNHRC heaquarters in Geneva, with 11 abstentions. The resolution was opposed by the US, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Slovakia.
Britain, Belgium and France were among the countries that abstained.
The council approved four other resolutions on the conflict on Wednesday.
It voted nearly unanimously in favour of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, with 45 countries voting in favour and only the United States voting against. No countries chose to abstain.
A second resolution agreed to the creation of an independent
committee to monitor compliance with the Goldstone Report’s call for both sides to hold independent transparent investigations into human rights abuses during the Gaza war and from Palestinian rocket attacks.
A third slammed Israel for targeting Palestinian civilians and systematically destroying their cultural heritage. And a fourth condemned the Netanyahu administration for pressing on with illegal settlement construction, including in occupied east Jerusalem, calling for an end to the blockade of Gaza.
Despite Washington’s much-hyped tiff with Tel Aviv, the US stood behind Israel at Wednesday’s council meeting.
US ambassador Eileen Donahoe said: “We are deeply troubled to be presented once again with a slate of resolutions so replete with controversial elements and one-sided references that they shed no light and offer no redress for the real challenges in the region.”
Ms Donahoe insisted that her country supported a two-state solution even though it had opposed the resolution in support of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.
PLO ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi pointed out that the two-state solution is predicated upon exactly that right.