The sham human rights body condemned Israel, again, this past weekend but refused to insert “Hezbollah” into the text.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, right, shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, left, on the occasion of the first session of the Human Rights Council, at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, June 22, 2006. (AP)
The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday agreed to “Condemn ‘Israeli violations’ in Lebanon and send in teams to investigate”
the Council “strongly condemns the grave Israeli violations of human rights and breaches of international humanitarian law in Lebanon…calls upon Israel to observe the principle of proportionality and refrain from launching any attack that may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life.”
The Council also decided to “urgently establish and immediately dispatch a high-level inquiry commission comprising eminent experts of human rights law and international humanitarian law.” Among others, the commission will investigate “the systematic targeting and killings of civilians by Israel.”
…Ms. Arbour said she was “particularly concerned” about the humanitarian situation of the population remaining in the south of Lebanon, especially following the destruction of the last bridge over the Litani River.
“…Nearly a month from its beginning and worsening by the day, this crisis demands a firm and meaningful response from this Council,” she said, of the body that was set up to replaced the much-criticized Human Rights Commission.
Today’s special session was called in response to a request from Tunisia on behalf of the Group of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which was supported in total by 16 Member States.
The U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday condemned Israel for “massive bombardment of Lebanese civilian populations” and other “systematic” human rights violations, and decided to send a commission to investigate.
Israeli Ambassador Itzhak Levanon said the discussions were one-sided, referring only to civilian losses in Lebanon while ignoring the deadly Hezbollah missile attacks on northern Israel.
The council voted 27-11 to pass the resolution, which was proposed by the 57-country Organization of the Islamic Conference. Among those voting for the resolution were China, Russia, India, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Zambia and South Africa. Guatemala and seven other countries abstained.
Although the OIC refused to insert “Hezbollah” in the text, it amended its wording to make an indirect reference to the Lebanese militia.
It was the second time the new council has singled out Israel in emergency sessions this summer.
In a meeting July 6, the body voted 29-11 to deplore Israel’s military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It has no powers to punish countries beyond public condemnation. However, Arbour, a former Canadian Supreme Court justice, warned there could be other proceedings for any war crimes.
“I remind all belligerents that war crimes and crimes against humanity may be committed even by those who believe, accurately or not, that their combat is a just one and their cause a worthy pursuit,” she said.
It said the Israelis had “caused thousands of deaths and injuries, mostly among children and women, and the displacement of 1 million civilians, according to a preliminary assessment.”
It also condemned “Israeli military operations in Lebanon, which constitute gross and systematic human rights violations” and “the massive bombardment of Lebanese civilian populations, especially the massacres in Qana,” where 28 people were killed in a July 30 Israeli airstrike, and other Lebanese towns.
At least they got the number of deaths in Qana right!
Just, as a refresher… the newly revamped and Jimmy Carter endorsed Human Rights Council condemned the US last month. The sham human rights council still includes members Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, etc.
Cuba has one year to improve its human rights record to remain on the council.
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