The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday voted to adopt a report accusing Israel of human rights violations, including war crimes, for its response to violent riots and attacks on the Israeli border along the frontier with Gaza.
On Friday, the Council’s 40th session voted in Geneva by a margin of 23 to 9, with 14 abstentions and one absence, to adopt the 252-page report conducted by the Commission of Inquiry on the Protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The nine countries which voted against adopting the report included Brazil, Australia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Ukraine, Togo, and Fiji.
In addition, 14 countries abstained, including the UK, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, India, Japan, Argentina, the Bahamas, Croatia, the Congo, Nepal, Rwanda, Slovkia, and Uruguay.
The 23 nations that voted in favor of adopting the report included Afghanistan, Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, and Tunisia.
The report adopted by the UNHRC accuses the Israeli military of targeting Arab civilians the commission claims were not involved “in hostilities” against Israel, and condemned Israel’s use of live ammunition against Gaza rioters attacking Israeli forces on the border or attempting to breach the Israeli border fence.
“The commission found reasonable grounds to believe that individual members of the Israeli security forces, in the course of their response to the demonstrations, killed and gravely injured civilians who were neither directly participating in hostilities nor posing an imminent threat,” the report reads in part.
Israel rejected the report on Friday, denouncing the Human Rights Council for its “absurd, hypocritical” criticism of Israel’s behavior.
“The Human Rights Council repeated today its absurd, hypocritical ritual of creating a Commission of Inquiry singling out Israel, whose findings against Israel are predetermined, and then adopting them, all the while ignoring reality on the ground,” the Israeli foreign ministry said Friday.
“Israel notes with satisfaction that 9 countries voted against the biased resolution and that a moral majority of countries did not endorse the resolution. In effect, this is a vote of no confidence to the report. Israel will continue to exercise its right of self-defense and will protect its citizens against terror and aggression. Israel will not cooperate with the Council on the issue.”
Beginning in March 2018, tens of thousands of rioters gathered on the Israeli border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, attempting to break through the border fence while hurling firebombs, stones, and flaming tires at Israeli soldiers.
Gaza-based rioters also used bombs attached to kites and balloons to target Israeli towns near the border. The riots peaked on May 14th 2018, during Israel’s 70th Independence Day, coinciding with the unveiling of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Some 60 rioters were killed in clashes on the Israel-Gaza border, at least 50 of whom belonged to the Hamas terror group.
The commission claims that a total of 183 Gazans were killed during the riots, with thousands more wounded.