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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

UN Human Rights Council calls for accountability in Gaza conflict

The passage of the resolution signifies a symbolic step towards addressing the unprecedented nature of the situation.

The United Nations Human Rights Council made a historic move on Friday, adopting a resolution that demands accountability for possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip. This marks the first time the council has taken a position on the nearly six-month conflict, shedding light on the alarming reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses.

The Resolution: A Necessary Measure

With 28 member states voting in favor, the resolution highlights the urgent need to prevent further violations of international humanitarian law and protect human rights in the region. It comes in response to the International Court of Justice’s ruling, which identified a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza, and expresses grave concern over reports of serious human rights violations, including possible war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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International Response

While the resolution received widespread support from many member states, notable opposition came from countries like the United States and Germany, with others abstaining from the vote. The diversity in responses reflects the complexity of the geopolitical landscape surrounding the conflict. However, the passage of the resolution signifies a symbolic step towards addressing the unprecedented nature of the situation.

Implications and Criticisms

Israel’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar, denounced the resolution as a stain on the Human Rights Council and the UN as a whole. The resolution follows a similar call for a ceasefire by the UN Security Council in March, highlighting the growing international concern over the escalating violence and civilian casualties in Gaza.

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The resolution also condemns the use of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare in Gaza, where the UN has warned of an impending famine. While some countries have suspended arms sales to Israel, others continue to supply lethal weapons despite mounting criticism. The United States, in particular, has been a major supplier of military aid to Israel, raising questions about its role in perpetuating the conflict.