U.N. human rights body to debate Gaza aid ship raid

GENEVA (BestGrowthStock) – The U.N. Human Rights Council will debate on Tuesday Israel’s raid on a Gaza aid ship flotilla, at the urging of Arab and other Islamic states, a United Nations spokeswoman said.

A draft resolution sponsored by Pakistan and Sudan alongside the Palestinians “condemns in the strongest terms possible the outrageous attack by the Israeli forces” and says independent investigators should be sent to review possible violations of international law related to the incident.

The non-binding resolution also calls on Israel to ensure that food, fuel and medical assistance reaches the Gaza Strip.

Claire Kaplun, a spokeswoman for the Geneva-based Council, said the discussion would start at 1300 GMT and last three hours.

Earlier on Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council issued a formal statement condemning the acts that caused deaths of civilians during the Israeli operation against the flotilla and called for an impartial investigation.

The Human Rights Council discussion could put more pressure on Israel about the military interception.

But the 47-member body has long been accused of singling out Israel while going easy on other rights abusers, eroding the influence of its past resolutions which have condemned Israel’s actions in occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories.

The United States, a key Israeli ally, currently holds a seat on the Human Rights Council.

On Monday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for an independent inquiry and urged the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

“We need to establish exactly what happened. However, nothing can justify the appalling outcome of this operation, which reportedly took place in international waters,” she said in a statement.

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 (Reporting by Laura MacInnis; editing by David Stamp)

U.N. human rights body to debate Gaza aid ship raid