Stock Groups

UN-mandated rights inquiry rebukes Israel for seeking ‘complete control’ -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A Palestinian flag is seen flying as the remains of homes, destroyed in Israeli air strikes, are visible, Gaza Strip on May 25, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Emma Farge & Dan Williams

GENEVA/JERUSALEM – A U.N. Human Rights Council-appointed independent commission said that Israel should do more than end its occupation of the land Palestinians seek for a new state. The report was released Tuesday.

The report was branded a “witch hunt” by Israel’s ministry for foreign affairs. Israel boycotted inquiry and accused it of bias. It also barred access to its investigators.

The inquiry was prompted by an 11-day conflict between Gaza Palestinians (250) and Israel (12). It also includes allegations of human rights violations that occurred before and after the conflict. This mandate seeks to determine the “root causes” behind tensions.

The evidence cited by the report shows that Israel “never intended to end the occupation” and seeks “complete control” of what it refers to as the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem), which Israel took in 1967.

The report states that “Ending occupation alone won’t be enough” and calls for additional actions to guarantee equal human rights.

The report cites an Israeli law that denies naturalization to Palestinians who are married to Israelis. It also accuses Israel of giving “different civil status rights, legal protection, and rights” to Arab minorities. Israel claims such protections are necessary to safeguard the nation’s security and preserve its Jewish identity.   

Israel’s ministry stated that the report was biased and unbalanced and was informed by a number of other biased reports.

Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005. Egypt assisted Israel to secure the border of the area ruled by Hamas Islamists. In the West Bank, where there are many Israeli settlements, Palestinian authorities enjoy limited self-rule.    

Hamas is the party that swears to Israel’s destruction. It launched the war in May 2021 with rocket attacks after moving to expel Palestinian families from East Jerusalem.

Rare street violence between Israeli Arab and Jewish citizens was witnessed during the Gaza fighting.    

This report will be considered by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council. It cannot take legally binding decisions.

Over what the United States called its “chronic bias against Israel”, it quit the Council in 2018, and was not fully rejoined until this year.   

It is unusual for the commission to investigate, which has three members and an unlimited mandate. According to a diplomat, the mandate of this inquiry was sensitive. He said that people don’t like perpetuity.   

The members of the group are from Australia, South Africa, and India.