Instead, the resolution reminds member states of their responsibility to band together to halt Israeli actions.
The commission would “make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability – including individual criminal and command responsibility – for such violations, and justice for victims,” the resolution states.
It would explore the “alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021, and all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity,” the resolution states.
Shahar charged that the “sole purpose of this Special Session and its resolution is to blame Israel, whitewash the crimes committed by Hamas, and for the PA to avoid assuming its responsibilities towards its own population.
“Israel fights Hamas terrorism, not the Palestinian people, nor the population in Gaza,” she said. “Unfortunately, this Special Session will only reward Hamas and extremist forces, pushing further away any prospects of trust building and peace.”
Among those who will be speaking at the UNHRC session will be High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet; the special rapporteur for the Palestinian territories, former MK Mohammad Barakeh; Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights director Issam Younis; and Muna El Kurd, a journalist who lives in Sheikh Jarrah.
There have been at least five fact-finding missions into Israeli military actions in the past, including one on the Hamas-led “Great March of Return” as well as on past Gaza wars.
ON WEDNESDAY the UN’s World Health Organization voted on a resolution in support of better health care for the Palestinians in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, as well as for Syrians on Israel’s Golan Heights, even though those Syrians have equitable access to Israeli health care.
The text of the resolution itself did not mention Israel, but the criticism was implied. The country has been under fire on the international stage for providing vaccines to its citizens while not similarly purchasing vaccines for the Palestinian Authority so it could provide for those living in Areas A and B of the West Bank, which is under PA rule.
UN Watch’s executive director Hillel Neuer said, “Today’s assault on Israel at the WHO promoted the lie that Israel is harming Palestinian health rights,” but adding that “the opposite is true.”
“Despite the fact that the Palestinians have their own health system, and under the Oslo II Peace Accords, it is the Palestinian Authority which is responsible for vaccinating their population, Israel has vaccinated over 100,000 Palestinian workers since March as well as donating thousands of vaccine doses for Palestinian medical workers,” Neuer said.
“Israeli medical teams coordinated with Palestinian medical professionals to provide training and assistance,” he said. “Israel transferred medical equipment and has trained dozens of Palestinian doctors, nurses and medical personnel from Gaza before the Palestinian Authority ceased coordination in May 2020, putting more pressure on their health care system during a pandemic.
“Moreover, it’s particularly absurd for the WHO to enact a resolution effectively accusing Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, while the director-general’s report clearly states that they have full access to universal health care under the Israeli health maintenance organizations, including COVID testing, medical care, contact tracing and vaccination,” he said.