Foreign Minister Welcomes UN Council Resolution on Ensuring Accountability for Violations of International Law in Occupied Palestinian Territory

RAMALLAH, July 4, 2015 (WAFA) – Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomed Friday the adoption of a UN resolution on holding accountable all those who committed serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international law during 2014 summer’s Israeli onslaught on Gaza.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Malki stated in a press statement following the council’s vote on the resolution, that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution, “reflects a strong support by the international community at large for accountability.”

Malki stated that, “there is no path to justice and peace without accountability,” adding that, ““We will not accept that the repeated crimes against our people go unpunished.”

The UNHRC Friday passed with an overwhelming majority a resolution on Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

The resolution welcomed the report by the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Gaza conflict which found that serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law were committed in the context of Israeli military operations in the summer of 2014, including possible war crimes.

The resolution called upon all duty bearers and United Nations bodies to pursue the implementation of all the recommendations contained in the report.

It further emphasized the need to ensure that all those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law are held to account through appropriate fair and independent domestic or international criminal justice mechanisms.

It also stressed the need to ensure the right of all victims to an effective remedy, including through reparations.

In its criminal assault against the Gaza Strip last summer, Israel killed over 2200 Palestinians, including over 550 children, 80 of whom were 3 years old or less. Entire families were annihilated, said the release.

“For them, for the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and so many other Palestinian families, for our people still under occupation and blockade and deprived of their inalienable rights, and to prevent the recurrence of such crimes, we have a duty to end impunity’, added the top Palestinian diplomat.

The resolution calls in this regard upon the parties concerned to cooperate fully with the preliminary examination of the International Criminal Court and with any subsequent investigation that may be opened.

The resolution also tackles third parties’ obligation to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law, including through penal sanctions, and to promote compliance with human rights obligations.

The resolution further stresses the urgency of achieving without delay an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967. In this regard the minister stated that the prolonged belligerent military occupation is the root cause of the conflict and the primary factor leading to violations of international law.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while underlining that the Commission of Inquiry’s report tries to artificially strike a balance between the violations committed by the occupying Power and the occupied people, insisted however that the State of Palestine will shoulder its responsibilities to ensure compliance with international law,” said the release.

“Guided by the same spirit that led it to seek the establishment of the UN Commission of Inquiry and presenting this follow-up resolution, the State of Palestine shall pursue with consistency and resolve, through every possible avenue, full respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law by all and for all, it added.

The release noted that the resolution insists on the need to ensure implementation of the recommendations contained in this report and in reports by other fact finding missions and Special Rapporteurs.

The resolution deplores the non-cooperation by Israel with the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict and the refusal to grant access to, and cooperate with, international human rights bodies seeking to investigate the violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, it added.

Malki considered that “the refusal by Israel, the occupying Power, to grant such access is an implicit recognition of the commission of crimes of concern to the international community as a whole,” caling on states and UN bodies to take the required steps in this regard.

The Minister thanked the countries that voted in favor of the resolution for their principled stance to uphold universal values.

To be noted, 41 countries voted in favor of the resolution, 5 abstained and 1 voted against.

The countries that voted in favor are: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, China, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Maldives, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Macedonia, and Paraguay abstained from voting, while USA voted against it.