China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela Condemn Israel for Violating Human Rights
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the latest condemnation of the Jewish state at the UN Human Rights Council as a "travesty" that "should be rejected by decent people everywhere."
With council members accusing Israel of war crimes, the body approved a "commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory."
The United States was the only country to vote against the measure.
Seventeen countries abstained, and among the 29 states voting in favor of the resolution were human-rights violators China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.
"Rather than investigate Hamas, which is committing a double war crime by firing rockets at Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians, the UNHRC calls for an investigation of Israel, which has gone to unprecedented lengths to keep Palestinian civilians out of harm's way, including by dropping leaflets, making phone calls and sending text messages," Netanyahu said. "The UNHRC should be launching an investigation into Hamas's decision to turn hospitals into military command centers, use schools as weapons depots and place missile batteries next to playgrounds, private homes and mosques."
"By failing to condemn Hamas's systematic use of human shields and by blaming Israel for the deaths that are caused by this grotesque human shields policy, the UNHRC is sending a message to Hamas and terror organizations everywhere that using civilians as human shields is an effective strategy," the prime minister continued.
"Like the investigation that led to the infamous Goldstone report, a report which was ultimately renounced by its own author, this investigation by a kangaroo court is a foregone conclusion. The predictable result will be the libeling of Israel and even greater use of human shields in the future by Hamas. Those who will pay the price will be not only Israelis but also Palestinians who Hamas will redouble its efforts to use as human shields in the future."
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters yesterday that the U.S. voted against the resolution because "we're opposed to one-sided and biased inquiries of any kind."
"Unfortunately the Human Rights Council has often put forward one-sided documents," she added.
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