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Netanyahu: Israel to consider leaving UN Human Rights Council

Israel considering leaving UN Human Rights Council after recent UN Gaza report, says Israeli PM Netanyahu

  | 29.06.2015
Netanyahu: Israel to consider leaving UN Human Rights Council

By Anees Barghouthy

JERUSALEM 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israel is considering leaving the UN Human Rights Council, according to Israeli radio.

“Israel is considering whether or not to stay in the Human Rights Council in light of the recent UN Gaza report,” Benjamin Netanyahu said in a closed meeting with top Israeli officials, according to Israeli Army Radio.

Last Monday, an independent United Nations inquiry pointed out the impunity with which Israeli forces committed grave human rights violations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank during its offensive in 2014.

The report noted that there was a huge increase in firepower during the conflict in 2014, with over 6,000 airstrikes carried out by the Israeli army and around 50,000 tank and artillery shells fired.

Palestinian armed groups also reportedly fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars at Israel between July and August 2014.

The State of Palestine officially submitted documents to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Thursday, accusing Israel of war crimes and illegal settlement construction on Palestinian territory.

The move, made possible after Palestinians joined the court in April, comes days after a United Nations report that said both Israel and Palestinian resistance group Hamas may have committed war crimes during Israel's bloody military offensive last July.

The file delivered to the ICC contains claims regarding the Israeli operation in Gaza last year and the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

During Israel's 51-day Operation Protective Edge in July and August 2014, more than 2,100 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were killed and 11,000 injured -- mostly women and children.

For decades, Israel has continued to misappropriate Palestinian land in the West Bank, where it continues to build Jewish-only settlements in breach of international law.

The number of Israelis living in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem is estimated to be over 500,000, living in more than 100 Jewish-only settlements.

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