UN Human Rights Council to convene on Israel

The new UN Human Rights Council on Friday will hold its second emergency session this summer on Israel, urged by Islamic countries to condemn the Jewish state for "massive bombardment of Lebanese civilian populations" and other "gross and systematic human rights violations." The 57-country Organization of the Islamic Conference, which gathered enough signatures to require the meeting, have put together a harshly worded draft resolution that blames Israel without any mention of Hizbullah, whose capture of two Israeli soldiers a month ago triggered the attack on Lebanon. The council, which in a similar session July 6 voted 29-11 to deplore Israel's military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is to "consider and take action on the gross human rights violations by Israel in Lebanon," according to the request filed by Tunisia on behalf of the OIC. The statement said the council should also consider the July 30 Israeli airstrike on the Lebanese town of Kana, which killed 28 people, as well as "countrywide targeting of innocent civilians and destruction of vital civilian infrastructure."