UNHRC condemns Israeli annexation plans, calls for report on its impact

“We have to stand firm and say ‘no’ to what Israel and America are doing in this area,” PLO Ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi said.

Voting board for the resolution on Palestinian self determination. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Voting board for the resolution on Palestinian self determination.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday condemned pending Israeli annexation plans. It also approved the annual settlements resolution with a 36-2 vote and nine abstentions as it wrapped up its 43rd session in Geneva.
The UNHRC called on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to prepare a report on the impact of annexation for its 46th session next March.
“We have to stand firm and say ‘no’ to what Israel and America are doing in this area,” PLO Ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi told the council. “It is flagrantly denying rights and flying in the face of international law.”
The controversial settlements resolution, which has been used in past years to call for the creation of a database of businesses operating in Jewish areas located over the pre-1967 lines, continued to call for a boycott of such businesses and to warn that those who engaged in such activity were liable to be penalized under international law.
UNHRC approves the settlements resolution with a 36-2 vote and nine abstentions, June 22, 2020 (Photo Credit: Screenshot/UN web TV)UNHRC approves the settlements resolution with a 36-2 vote and nine abstentions, June 22, 2020 (Photo Credit: Screenshot/UN web TV)
The text also expressed its concern over settler violence and called for the confiscation of settlers’ arms.
The settlements resolution was one of five pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli texts the 47-member body approved during its 43rd session.
Israel was the only country against which such a high number of resolutions were leveled. Four were approved Monday and one was passed on Friday with regard to accountability, which included a call for an arms embargo.
Only six other countries had resolutions in their name with respect to human-rights issues. In each case it was a singular resolution, and not all of those texts were condemnations. They included Iran, Syria, South Sudan, Myanmar, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Nicaragua.
Khraishi called on the international community to take a strong stand against Israeli annexation plans. According to the US peace plan, Israel can annex 30% of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea.
“It’s a circus that we are witnessing in the US,” Khraishi said. “It seems as if the US is deciding the fate of the Palestinian people without referring to international resolutions... [US President Donald] Trump is giving free rein to Israel and saying more or less, ‘You can annex these areas.’”
“We have to, sooner or later, stop this situation,” he said.
Khraishi likened the Palestinians’ situation to that of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.
He accused Israel of crimes against humanity and of “exploiting” the Holocaust for its own political gain. Israel had brought Jews from outside to displace Palestinians, Khraishi said.
AUSTRALIA AND the Marshall Islands were Israel’s staunchest supporters. Australia rejected all five of the resolutions, and the Marshall Islands rejected four, including the settlements resolution. Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, the Czech Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Slovenia, Togo and Ukraine abstained from the settlements resolution.
Of the 36 countries that approved the measures, five were European: Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain.
The vote on the settlements resolution and three others that took place Monday occurred under Agenda Item 7. The UNHRC at every session is mandated to debate alleged Israeli human-rights abuses under this agenda item. No other country has such a set mandate.
Australian Ambassador Sally Mansfield said her country was opposed to “biased” and “one-sided resolutions.” Nowhere was this bias more apparent than in the existence of Item 7, which damages the credibility of the council, she said.
“Our vote against these resolutions represents a vote against the disproportionate focus that holds Israel to a higher degree of scrutiny than any other state,” Mansfield said.
Czech Ambassador Petr Gajdusek called for the UNHRC to remove Item 7 from its agenda. It also opposed the council’s call for a report on annexation, noting that the body should seek a more appropriate response that would occur in real time.
The resolution on alleged Israeli human-rights abuses in the Palestinian territories passed 42-2, with three abstentions. Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Togo abstained.

UNHRC resolution on alleged Israeli human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories passes overwhelmingly at 42-2 with three abstentions, June 22, 2020 (Photo Credit: Screenshot/UN web TV)UNHRC resolution on alleged Israeli human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories passes overwhelmingly at 42-2 with three abstentions, June 22, 2020 (Photo Credit: Screenshot/UN web TV)
The resolution affirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination passed 43-2, with two abstentions. Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo abstained.
UNHRC resolution affirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination passes overwhelmingly at 43-2 with two abstentions, June 22, 2020 (Photo Credit: Sreenshot/UN web TV)UNHRC resolution affirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination passes overwhelmingly at 43-2 with two abstentions, June 22, 2020 (Photo Credit: Sreenshot/UN web TV)
The resolution condemning Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights passed 26-17, with four abstentions.
Opposing the measure were Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Togo and Ukraine.
Cameroon, Congo, Fiji and the Philippines abstained.
UNHRC resolution condemning Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights passes 26-17, with four abstentions, June 22, 2020 (Photo Credit: Screenshot/UN web TV)UNHRC resolution condemning Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights passes 26-17, with four abstentions, June 22, 2020 (Photo Credit: Screenshot/UN web TV)