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A relative of two-year old Palestinian Salma Radiya who was killed by shrapnel from an Israeli tank shell in the north of the Gaza Strip holds her body in the street outside the morgue of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia on July 23, 2014. – AFP
A relative of two-year old Palestinian Salma Radiya who was killed by shrapnel from an Israeli tank shell in the north of the Gaza Strip holds her body in the street outside the morgue of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia on July 23, 2014. – AFP

GENEVA: The United Nations on Wednesday launched an international inquiry into human rights violations and crimes that may have been committed by Israel during its military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The UN Human Rights Council condemned the Israeli assault which it said had involved “disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks,” including aerial bombing of civilian areas, collective punishment, and the killing of more than 650 Palestinians.

At the end of an emergency session, the 47-member forum adopted a resolution presented by Palestinians by a vote of 29 states in favour, 1 against (the United States) with 17 abstentions (including all nine European Union members).

Strong possibility of Gaza crimes: UN rights chief

“We came here to try to achieve together with you at least minimum justice for children who are being dismembered, for women whose bodies are lying in the streets, to find some justice for those who are being exterminated,” said Ibrahim Khraishi, ambassador of the Palestinian observer mission to the UN in Geneva.

Israel and its ally United States rejected the probe, calling it one-sided and counterproductive amid efforts to clinch a ceasefire. Israel has observer status at the talks.

Israel ambassador Eviator Manor, in remarks before the vote, told the forum: “Why does this Council believe that naming and shaming Israel will get it anywhere?”

“Throughout the entire escalation of events, Israel has always acted with maximum restraint, fully committed to international law in general and the laws of armed conflict.”

Israel had established its own special commission of inquiry “with a scope beyond what is required under international and criminal law,” Manor said.

“Hamas is the aggressor. Hamas is the one committing war crimes ... Open your eyes to reality,” he said.

The Geneva forum convened the special one-day session at the request of the Palestinians, Egypt and Pakistan.

Israel, which accuses the Council of bias, boycotted the Geneva forum for 20 months, resuming cooperation in October – Reuters

US renews ban on flights to Israel

Meanwhile, the US Federal Aviation Administration renewed its ban on American flights to Tel Aviv for another 24 hours, citing the “potentially hazardous situation” in Israel and Gaza.

It first imposed the ban on Tuesday, then renewed it at 1615 GMT with a Notice to Airmen, or NOTAM, that it said would be updated “within 24 hours.”

In a press statement, the FAA added that it is “working closely” with the Israeli government “to review the significant new information they have provided and determine whether potential risks to US civil aviation are mitigated so the agency can resolve concerns as quickly as possible.”

The FAA prohibited US airlines from going into or out of Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel's only international hub, after a Hamas rocket struck a neighbourhood to the north of the airport – AFP

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Comments (32) Closed

farida Jul 23, 2014 09:55pm

This shows hypocrisy of USA

Where is justice Jul 23, 2014 10:12pm

Futile effort... nothing would happen...

anony Jul 23, 2014 10:17pm

UN is a mere puppet organization. Nevertheless, the main nice surprise is the over-whelming support from Latin American countries like Bolivia. Thank you very much.

Shaz Jul 23, 2014 10:28pm

USA and European voted against and did not voted respectively.

These countries talk about the rights of animals but also support Israel for killing a number of children even less than 1 year age. Whatever they say, they are also killers of these children.

They talk about the rights of indigenous red Indians, but never think that Israel has occupied land of Palestine. What a double standard.

They always stab on the back of Muslims and then they wonder why Muslims hate USA and Europeans.

No matter what ones says, this world always supports ones that are clever, wealthy, cunning and inside extremists (and outside moderate) like Israelis.

Lucky Star Jul 23, 2014 10:38pm

World politics is changing fast!

A Canadian Pakistani Jul 23, 2014 11:04pm

Shame on the European Community. They criticize Russia for the Death of 298 persons on an airplane but do not say anything for the death of 600 in Gaza. I am not saying that the 298 deaths dont matter, but there must be some accountability.

siddharth Jul 23, 2014 11:06pm

The probe would say that Israel was wrong which Israel won't agree. End of the story. We might be quiet now....but would repent later when people would follow this example.

AJamal Jul 23, 2014 11:39pm

"The United States was the sole member to vote against, while European countries abstained." Shining example of democracy and the rule of law - not applicable in case of racist Zionist state of Israel.

Sami Jul 24, 2014 12:07am

USA and Europe champion of human rights closed their eyes, where gone these liberal bloggers and columnists who teaches us first rectify yourself then raise your voices for Palestinians. I would like to see their blogs or columns.

bhuwan kabduwal Jul 24, 2014 01:11am

For god shake please stop it !!!!! Rest aside all the difference and see the human aspects and the emotional carnage people are going through. The small kids are dying who don't even know the meaning of fights and yet to blossom to make this world a beautiful place to live. Alas !!! If anybody up there and listening to the plight & sufferings of the people !!!! Ohhh god!!! Enlighten the lost souls on this earth with mercy and compassion for fellow human being.. Amen !!!!

Munz Jul 24, 2014 01:26am

Very sad...

ahmed hasan Jul 24, 2014 02:40am

Why bash Israel and USA? Why not Bash 50 Muslim Countries that are sitting idle? How long are we going to blame the "others" for our own weaknesses? Israel is a great nation for it's Countrymen, unlike any Muslim Country, not even one!

Abdullah Jul 24, 2014 02:44am

Useless effort to make countries believe that something is done. Unfortunate and shame on all these countries

Ragu Jul 24, 2014 03:23am

We have never seen UN do similar investigation when people kill innocents around the globe. why is it a crime to defend against rockets?

Wesley Golden Jul 24, 2014 03:23am

Two year old Salma Radiya who was killed by shrapnel from an Israeli tank shell, Shame on Israel how dare you...

qwerty Jul 24, 2014 03:37am

US whose foundations are built on land usurped from indigenous people will always allow Israel's relentless butchering of helpless civilians and innocent children.

Despite blatant human right

shani Jul 24, 2014 04:13am

USA's as well as europeans hypocrisy is evident by voting against Palestine.self proclaimed guardians of human rights are verily right violaters

Adnan Anwar Jul 24, 2014 04:39am

As if Israel care or has any respect of UN.

Shahpur Jul 24, 2014 04:55am

Nothing will happen the whole world knows that. This is not the first time, it has been going on for decades, but at least record of the events should be created and preserved for tomorrow.

Ali Jul 24, 2014 05:16am

The question arise, why would someone vote against an ivestigation?

Ozz Jul 24, 2014 05:17am

The look in that guys eyes....

Ajmal Jul 24, 2014 05:24am

Injustice & hypocrisy by Western World & USA with Muslims. Now entire world is going towards destruction........Oh Muslim world!! wake up now at least ........

hani Jul 24, 2014 06:59am

Who cares ? When the bigwig (U.S) is not interested, thumping an utter shame across the World...

Mohammad Akhtar Jul 24, 2014 07:34am

Hope Human Rights Commission finds Israel responsible for human rights violation and forwards the case to international criminal court.

Bob Trenton Jul 24, 2014 07:58am

If maximum restraint is to indiscriminately shoot and kill 4 young boys who are playing soccer on a beach from a Israeli gunboat then these Israeli mad men need to be rounded up and put on trial.

Sunil Jul 24, 2014 08:49am

Its a catastrophe in Gaza. Israel, specially Benjamin Netanyahu, must be charged with war crimes.

Jalaluddin S. Hussain Jul 24, 2014 10:05am

International community must now push for a permanent cease fire and serious negotiations between the two contending parties - Israel and Palestine.

liran Jul 24, 2014 01:32pm

This is the comment i left on the site of the UN.

You want to open an investigation against Israel for war crimes? Why do not you open a war crimes investigation against Hamas who use their children as human shields for their soldiers? And why not opened investigations against Hamas rockets on Israeli civilians in recent years? And after all the moral moves taken by Israel in this war how do you not ashamed to open an investigation against it? Israel announced civilians to vacate the places before any assault and assault. And you want to open an investigation against Israel? Show me another country who used such restraint. Show me another country was under attack in her region and has taken no action as Israel. I want to see if the United States or Britain or France or any other country was bombed all the time, if they are silent and do not do anything, or did not enter that place and attack it. When was the twin disaster on November 11, the United States would not sit still - She went to Afghanistan and many died on the way. Israel did not want to start a war, and certainly not to harm civilians, but what do you expect her to do when she has children kidnapped and murdered them? Or when its citizens are bombarded? Keep quiet? This is not possible. Israel must protect its citizens. Like any other country would defend its citizens. you say "we the peoples... a stronger UN for a better world" - What do you do for a better world? Open an investigation against a country defending itself? Where where you when Hamas kidnapp soldiers and children? Where where you when Hamas send Suicide bombers? Where where you whene Hamas fired rockets on Israel? You should be ashamed you even bring it to mind

haris Jul 24, 2014 02:51pm

All the Western European countries including France, Germany Austria, abstain from voting. Why? They don't have the courage to stand against inhumane and brutal acts of Israel. by even an inch.

All South American countries including Chile, Argentina voted in favor.

roghani Jul 26, 2014 06:31am

@liran how many people killed in result of Hamas rocket attacks? Zero. how many innocent people killed by Israel in response? round about 600. you people will never show the justification of Israel as state.

Asif Jul 26, 2014 09:46am

@liran Israel is mercilessly blockading Gaza's citizens depriving them even of basic necessities. This has gone on for years. Why does Israel seek to starve the citizens and children of Gaza? How would Israelis react if Israel was in a situation like those in Gaza (theoretically) ? Why does Israel mete out such inhumane treatment ? particularly after the Jews in Germany were subjected to Nazi atrocities? Do you not have any memories? Do you not believe in God and the justice that awaits all of us (Israelis included) in the hereafter ?

Ganga Din Jul 26, 2014 04:56pm

@ahmed hasan That's correct. How come no one criticizes KSA for human rights violations, Dubai for sex trafficking, Kuwait for revocation of citizenship of opposition members, Bahrain beating up Shias and I can go on. What are wealthy Arabs doing for their fellow poor Arabs? This is the hypocrisy that they are living under. Israel is a thriving democracy and is here to stay. Arabs and Muslims better learn to live in peace and harmony with Israel and try to benefit from its technological and educational advances that will show them some day light.