UN plans special session on Gaza rights abuses

The UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday will hold its third special session on Israel, this time to look into alleged rights abuses in northern Gaza, UN officials said. A statement by the UN Information Service released late Monday and labeled a "background release," used the wording of the Arab-led request and said the special session was convened at the request of the ambassador of Bahrain on behalf of the group of Arab states and the ambassador of Pakistan on behalf of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference. Supporting the request were China, Cuba, Russia and other countries. The request called for a special session "to consider and take action on the gross human rights violations emanating from Israeli military incursions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the recent one in Northern Gaza and the assault on Beit Hanun." The request was signed by 24 countries.