UN Rights Council to Investigate Israeli War Crimes in Gaza

US Lone 'No' Vote Amid Soaring Civilian Death Toll

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today agreed to open an investigation into Israeli war crimes during their ongoing invasion of the Gaza Strip. The vote was pressed by the Palestinian observer to the council.

The vote was not close, with 29 votes in favor and only the US voting against the probe. Several US allies also abstained, but none of them voted against the resolution.

US Ambassador Keith Harper complained that the investigation might hurt ceasefire efforts, while Israeli officials railed against the vote, saying Hamas was the only one committing war crimes in the war, and that they were mere “a democracy defending itself” from a “terrorist aggressor.”

UNHRC chief Navi Pillay says the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in Israel’s attacks could well amount to war crimes, and showed a “disregard for international humanitarian law.”

After the 2008-09 Israeli invasion of Gaza, the UNHRC set up the Goldstone commission to investigate war crimes, providing a report that showed that far from self-defense, the Israeli war was meant to “humiliate and terrorize a civilian population.


Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.