With the United States singled out with its opposing vote, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations passed on Thursday a resolution ordering the first ever investigation into the effects of Israeli settlement activities on the rights of the Palestinian people.The resolution was passed with 36 votes, while 10 stated absented, and the United States was singled itself out as the only country that voted against it.
The resolution was presented by the Pakistani envoy to the Council who slammed Israel for its illegal settlements activities in occupied Palestine, and stating that Israelâs settlements violate International Law and all human rights law, including the Fourth Geneva Conventions to which Israel is a signatory.
The new resolution also demands Israel to halt the dangerously escalating violence carried out by armed Jewish settlers against the Palestinian people and their lands in the occupied Palestinian territory, including occupied Jerusalem.
It also demanded Israel to reverse its illegal policies of settlement construction and expansion in the occupied territories, including in East Jerusalem, and denounced the recent Israel decision to build more homes for Jewish settlers.
The opposing stance of the United States did not come as a surprise, as many delegates anticipated such response.
The U.S. said that âit was troubledâ by what it called âthe councilâs bias against Israelâ, and claimed that âthis resolution will only lead to further complications in the attempts to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestiniansâ.
The US Envoy in Geneva said that Washington is concerned by what he called âthe unbalanced and unfair resolutions against Israel at the Human Rights Councilâ, and claimed that âthis council discriminates against Israelâ.
He further claimed that âthe efforts to create a UN Council that only aims at voting against Israel do not serve peace, and only push Israel and the Palestinians apartâ.
The US envoy also said that âdespite the fact that the United States opposes Israelâs settlement activities, it is concerned about this unilateral decision against Israelâ.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Roni Leshno Yaar, also slammed the resolution, and said that the decision was politically motivated with the aim of isolating Israel, according to Yaar.
He further stated that âhe was surprised by the illegitimate and unhelpful resolutionsâ, and claimed that such resolutions âwill only lead to further tension to the already exploding situation in the areaâ.
Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Khreisha, stated that nobody aims at isolating Israel, and added that the Israeli government âdoes not stop the illegal confiscation of Palestinian lands in order to build and expand its settlementsâ.
Khreisha further stated that âthe two-state solution cannot be implemented under the current circumstances and the illegal Israeli polices, adding that âthe Israeli occupation must be condemned for its constant violations to international law and all principles and declarations of Human Rightsâ.
Meanwhile, Israeli Government spokesperson stated that Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, issued a statement considering the UN Human Rights Council as âa Council that has an automatic majority against Israel, and has nothing to do with Human Rightsâ.
In late February, the Israeli government approved another plan aiming at constructing 500 new homes for Jewish settlers in a West Bank settlement outpost that was illegally built even under Israeli law.
The decision was strongly denounced by the United Nations Middle East Envoy, Robert Serry, who said that these Israeli decisions are only moving the area away from the ultimate aim of the two-state solution.
The number of Israeli settlers who live in the occupied West Bank is now more than 310.000. Also, 200.000 more settlers live in settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem. These numbers are constantly increasing due to Israelâs illegal policies in occupied Palestine, including in occupied East Jerusalem.
Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including occupied Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, and under the Fourth Geneva Convention and its protocols.