UN council debates alleged Israeli rights abuses

The UN Human Rights Council, which has censured only one country - Israel - during its six-month existence, renewed its focus on the Jewish state Wednesday. The 47-nation council's powerful Muslim bloc led the attack on IDF operations in the Gaza Strip. Members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference were joined by China, Russia and Cuba in criticizing Israel for alleged rights abuses, deploring the Israeli artillery barrage in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun that killed 19 civilians last week. Israeli Ambassador Itzhak Levanon said the special session was just another example of the council's lack of objectivity. He told the council that it was ignoring the death of an Israeli woman Wednesday by Palestinian rockets. "We see only evidence of one-sidedness, double standards and politicized decision-making," he said. "Those who pushed for this special session are conspicuously ignoring tragedies in other parts of the planet."