UN Human Rights Council starts discussions on Goldstone report
The UN Human Rights Council is set to discuss Thursday and Friday a draft resolution condemning Israeli human rights violations in Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West Bank. The two-page proposal was submitted to the council by Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Tunisia in advance of a session that will be dedicated to Israeli actions in East Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Thursday session will concentrate on the Goldstone Gaza report, which denounced Israel's recent war in Gaza Strip. The Palestinian envoy to the UN in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraishi, voiced confidence on Wednesday that the resolution would gain enough votes in the Human Rights Council to move on to New York, where it would carry more weight.
"[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has said that he won't allow a special session [of the Human Rights Council] and that he will not allow the resolution to pass," said Khraishi. "The world is not going according to Netanyahu."
Amid harsh Arab criticism for agreeing to delay a UN vote on the issue, the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday submitted a new resolution denouncing Israeli violations of human rights, with two pages devoted to the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. The resolution lashes at the Israeli land grabbing in the occupied territories as well as the construction and expansion of settlements, the continuous construction of the separation wall.
Regarding the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip, the resolution asked the 47-member Council to recognize that the closure of border crossings and the cutting of the supply of fuel, food and medicine amount to 'collective punishment of Palestinian civilians and lead to disastrous humanitarian and environmental consequences'.