Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary, has revealed that the UK will oppose the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) permanent agenda item on human rights abuses in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Writing in the Jewish Chronicle, Hunt insisted that Britain will vote against all texts contained within the Item 7 resolution at the UNHRC’s meeting this Friday, because “elevating this dispute above all others cannot be sensible.” The item has been a permanent fixture on the UNHRC’s agenda, and debated at every session, since June 2007.
- Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories
- Human rights violations and implications of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.
- Right to self-determination of the Palestinian people
Hunt opposes the UN’s focus on Israel’s human rights conduct in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, because it suggests “that one side alone holds a monopoly of fault.” He claims that a dedicated agenda for one nation “obstructs” the prospect of any long-lasting peace in the Middle East.
Ahead of Friday’s vote, the 47-member council discussed seven reports concerning alleged human rights violations by Israel.
In February, a UN human rights inquiry found that the Israeli military may have committed war crimes when 189 Palestinians were killed and 6,100 wounded during Gaza protests.
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 commission said every use of live fire during the protests was unlawful, while also calling on Palestinians to cease the use of incendiary kites and balloons.
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