Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the special meeting of Human Rights Council at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland October 28, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel charged that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “glorified” violence against Israelis and further “fanned the flames of the conflict” during his speech before a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.
“What we have witnessed today is the glorification of terror and violence,” Israel’s Ambassador to the UNHRC Eviatar Manor told diplomatic corp in Geneva hours after Abbas’s speech.
“What the Council allowed today is the banalization of the spilling of Jewish blood,” Manor said.
In his speech to the UNHRC Abbas said that the violence in the last few weeks was fueled by built up frustration over Israel’s “occupation of Palestine” and changes it had made to the status quo in the Al-Aksa mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.
Abbas made no mention of the 11 Israelis killed by Palestinian assailants in some 30 attacks against Israelis since the start of October. Instead he accused Israel instead of “extra-judicial killings” and “war crimes” against his people.
Abbas addresses UNHRC
Israeli security forces have killed 60 Palestinians in October, of which half were assailants and half were involved in violent clashes with the IDF and Border Police.
Israel has insisted that it has not changed the status quo on the Temple Mount and charged that such accusations are at the heart of the surge in Palestinian violence over the last month.
Wednesday's speech marks the first time that Abbas had addressed the UNHRC. Heads of state, including those of non-member UN states, can ask for a special UHRC to address member states.
Abbas, who is the head of a “fictitious state” used a “flimsy” precedent to hold a “scandalous” special meeting to deliver a speech of incitement that only served to increase violence and further politicized the UNHRC, Manor said.
The UNHRC should have refused to the meeting, even though it is legally permissible, Manor said.
“The role of the Council in fanning the flames of conflict and assisting in the dissemination of lies is now well established,” he said.
“President Abbas did not speak about the situation of human rights in the areas under his responsibility. He is perfectly aware of the abject conditions of these. No, he chose to name and shame my country,” Manor said.
“All I can wish the Council is that this new courtesy procedure will as of now be taken on board by many countries and the total politicization of the Council will become evident,” Manor said.
“Let me be very clear: the days of spilling Jewish blood without Jews allowed to defend themselves are long gone. The Human Rights Council has forgotten that the right to life is a basic human right and that it is universal. Jews in Israel have it, too. And we shall exercise our right to life,” Manor stated.
In Washington, US State Department spokesman John Kirby did not respond directly to Abbas’s comments, but only gave a general comment about the overall situation.
“What we want to see is words and deeds that do not do anything to escalate the tensions and contribute to calm,” he added.