The United Nations Commission on Human Rights on Thursday condemned Israel for using force against Palestinian civilians and called for halting settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The 53-states UN body is holding its annual meeting in Geneva.
A resolution on settlements, which was adopted by 39 votes against 2, with 12 abstentions, urges Israel to ‘reverse the settlement policy in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights,’
The resolution calls on Israel to stop immediately the expansion of settlements as a first step towards their dismantlement’
The United States and Australia were the only states-out of the 53 member states- who voted against the resolution on settlements in both the Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights.
Britain, Canada, Germany and Italy joined the United States in voting against a text condemning Israel for use of force, including executions, and ‘the continued Israeli systematic violations’ in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Israel, which is not a member state in the commission, rejected the resolutions as ‘one-sided.’
U.S. ambassador Rudy Boschwitz raised a question around the credibility of the Commission.
‘There is much talk of the credibility of the Commission. Imbalanced and unjust resolutions of this type do much to bring that credibility into question.’ He said.
Israeli diplomat Itzhak Levanon argued that the settlements issue should be left to the permanent status negotiations as laid down in the 1993 Oslo accords.
Palestinian ambassador Mohammad Abu-Koash accused Israel of being ‘out of step with the world.’