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Open-ended UNHRC war crime probe against Israel backed by 125 countries

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Palestinian students inspect a classroom at a school destroyed during the recent 11-day Israeli war against the besieged Gaza Strip, on the first day of the new academic year in Gaza City, on August 16, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

An overwhelming majority of 125 countries have backed an unprecedented open-ended war crime investigation by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) against Israel, including into the 11-day Israeli deadly aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip earlier this year.

In May, the military of the Israeli regime bombarded the besieged Gaza Strip for 11 consecutive days, killing at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children. In the aftermath of the brutal war, the 47-member UNHRC initially approved a probe into the crimes committed by the occupying entity against the inhabitants of the impoverished enclave.

Its broad mandate allows for a thorough probe into the human rights violations committed by the Israeli military on either side of the so-called Green Line, which includes Israel, the occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Later, Israel asked to defund the probe by excluding the money for the probe from the overall UNHRC budget.

The matter was put to vote before the 193-member UN General Assembly on Thursday night and Israel’s proposed amendment was massively rejected 125-8, with 34 abstentions.

Israel itself and the United States were among the few that voted against the approval of a budget for that investigation.

After the vote, Palestine’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour commended the vote and all UN member states that rejected Israel’s proposal, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.

He also thanked the UNGA for approving all budgets of the programs relating to the Palestinian cause, including his request to increase funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Israel’s brutal siege on the Gaza Strip since 2007 has inflicted severe hardship on residents. The poverty rate among Gaza’s population has reached 53 percent, while “extreme poverty” stands at 33.8 percent, according to statistics by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
About 68 percent of families do not have enough to eat, while 80 percent of Gazans are dependent on aid, and the area’s unemployment rate stands at 45.1 percent, according to PCBS.

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