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Fri. May 17th, 2024

The United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution on Friday demanding a cessation of all arms sales to Israel.

The resolution, responding to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, emphasized concerns of potential genocide, with a death toll exceeding 33,000 individuals. With 28 member states in favor, six opposed, and 13 abstentions, this marks the council’s first official stance on the deadliest conflict in the besieged Palestinian territory.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar, denounced the resolution as a detriment to both the Human Rights Council and the UN as a whole. The resolution’s language was robust, urging countries to halt sales, transfers, and diversions of arms and military equipment to Israel to prevent further breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses.

The resolution referenced the International Court of Justice’s ruling, which identified a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza. Introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member states, the resolution also called for an immediate ceasefire and emergency humanitarian access and assistance.

Prior to the vote, Palestinian ambassador Ibrahim Mohammad Khraishi implored the council to intervene, labeling the situation as genocide televised worldwide. However, Israel’s allies, including the United States, voted against the resolution, echoing concerns about its failure to address Hamas’s role and recent attacks.

The vote followed a similar resolution passed by the UN Security Council in New York, which also called for a ceasefire, albeit with Washington’s abstention. The conflict in Gaza erupted following Hamas’s attack on October 7, resulting in casualties on both sides. While the resolution refrained from naming Hamas, it condemned rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and demanded the release of hostages.

Furthermore, it reiterated calls for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, lifting the blockade on Gaza, and ceasing all forms of collective punishment. Despite revisions removing references to genocide, the resolution underscored concerns about incitement to genocide and called for accountability for violations of international law, urging UN investigators to scrutinize arms transfers to Israel.

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